MOSCOW/LONDON - Russia on Wednesday condemned as lies and slander suggestions a suspected CIA mole in President Vladimir Putin’s administration had handed over information to the United States about alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections.
Deputy Foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov made the comment after U.S. media reports, confirmed to Reuters by two sources, said a CIA informant in the Russian government had been extracted and brought to the United States in 2017.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election campaign in order to tilt the vote in U.S. President Donald Trump’s favor. Moscow has denied any interference.
A source familiar with the U.S. government’s handling of the informant told Reuters the mole had provided information that helped establish Russian involvement in efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. campaign. CNN said on Tuesday the informant had helped show that Putin had directed Russian interference into the election to favor Trump.
But Ryabkov said the alleged mole could not have had any role in revealing election meddling because there was no meddling.