CIA Director Mike Pompeo testified on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the agency had spent thousands to buy damaging information about him was based on “atrocious” and “ridiculous” information.
The New York Times and The Intercept reported last week that intelligence officials agreed last year to pay hackers over a $1 million in order to obtain information that was said to include compromising information on Trump.
In a tweet on Saturday, Trump suggested that the story was evidence of a conspiracy against him.
According to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on “Trump” to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out – DRAIN THE SWAMP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
But under questioning from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Tuesday, Pompeo said the media outlets had fallen for a story that was not true.
“Reporting on this matter has been atrocious, it’s been ridiculous, totally inaccurate,” Pompeo told Collins. “In our view, the suggestion the CIA was swindled is false. The people who were swindled were [reporters] James Risen and Matt Rosenberg, the authors of those two pieces.”
“Indeed, it’s our view that the same two people who were proffering phony information to the United States government, proffered that same phony information to these two reporters,” he added. “The Central Intelligence Agency did not provide any resources, no money to these two individuals who proffered U.S. government information directly or indirectly at any time. And the information that we were working to try and retrieve was information that we believed might well have been stolen from the U.S. government. It was unrelated to this idea of kompromat [compromising information on Trump] that appears in each of those two articles.”
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