USA spies, seeking to retrieve cyberweapons, paid Russian peddling dirt on Trump

US spies reportedly paid $100K to Russian operative who claimed to have dirt on Trump

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After months of negotiations, U.S. intelligence met the Russian spy in September at a Berlin TK to give him the first installment of his payment - $100,000.

Shortly after the story was covered on The Intercept, The New York Times provided its own report on a mysterious Russian who claimed that he would deliver stolen NSA hacking tools and compromising material on the United States president in exchange for $100,000.

US officials had said the payment was meant to recover the alleged NSA materials and was abandoned after the Russian produced "possibly fabricated" information on Mr. Trump related to 2016 presidential election and alleged ties between his associates and Russia, the Times reports.

The CIA on Saturday categorically denied reports that it was fleeced by a mystery Russian who promised compromising information on US President Donald Trump. But instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated material involving Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data, the paper cited the officials as saying.

The Russian agreed to provide the entirety of the Shadow Broker's stolen tools in exchange for money, and the us government decided on "certain messaging techniques" that would be used to let the Russian know the deal was authorized by Uncle Sam, according to The Intercept.

"The fictional story that CIA was bilked out of US$100,000 is patently false", the Central Intelligence Agency said in a statement sent to AFP.

The cloak and dagger account included an assertion that the NSA used its official Twitter account to send numerous coded messages to the Russian.

The CIA did not respond to a request by Reuters for comment, while NSA officials were not available out of regular business hours for comment. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million.

The Russian took the money but never turned anything over.

Reached through a chain of intermediaries, the seller reportedly wanted $1 million after quickly dropping his opening demand of about $10 million.

Trump has questioned the integrity of U.S. intelligence in the past.

An explosive memo declassified by Trump more than a week ago shows that top officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ used an unverified and politically motivated anti-Trump dossier to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump associate Carter Page.

USA intelligence agencies believe that Russia's spy services see the deep political divisions in the United States as a fresh opportunity to inflame partisan tensions.

Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation. According to the newspaper, the hacker thanked them for the offer and left.

Yet all four appear to be drawn nearly entirely from news reports, not secret intelligence.

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