14:23 GMT23 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has dismissed media reports that the United States had to extract a top covert source from inside Russia as factually wrong and inaccurate.

    "The reporting is materially inaccurate ... the reporting there is factually wrong", Pompeo said during a press briefing at the White House.

    The statement comes after CNN reported on 9 September that the United States extracted one of its highest-level operatives from Russia in 2017 after President Donald Trump exposed highly classified intelligence about the Daesh* terrorist group at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then-Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak. Senior US officials have already denied the CNN reports.

    Commenting on the matter, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that ex-Russian official Oleg Smolenkov, who has been dubbed the suspected CIA spy in the media, used to work for the presidential administration. Smolenkov, according to the Kremlin spokesperson, had been fired many years ago and that he never had contact with the Russian president.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Sergei Lavrov, Russia, spy, Mike Pompeo, United States
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