US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Shane Bouvet (left), a Trump campaign volunteer who received US$10,000 from Trump to help pay for his father Donald Bouvet's (2nd left) cancer treatment, during their meeting in the Oval Office at the White HoWASHINGTON, Feb 10 - A Russian who offered stolen National Security Agency cyber weapons and compromising information on President Donald Trump bilked US spies out of US$100,000 (RM394,010) previous year, The New York Times reported today, citing US and European security officials.
United States spies paid "Russians" $100k for stolen NSA tools, but got dud "Trump secrets" they didn't want?
American officials told the paper they did not want the anti-Trump material the Russian also promised. In exchange for it, the Russian provided unconfirmed and possibly fabricated data on Trump, as well as some information collected by Russian intelligence.
The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the negotiations with the Russian seller. Instead he persistently tried to provide various documents which he said were somehow related to Trump officials and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. The U.S. agents reportedly considered the information "tabloid gossip pages" rather than intelligence gathering and ultimately terminated the deal.
Rumors that Russian intelligence possesses the video surfaced more than a year ago in an explosive and unverified dossier made by a former British spy, which was partially funded by Hilary Clinton's campaign the New York Times wrote.
The American spies ended "chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom", The Times reported, based on an account from the businessman, who is now said to have possession of the Trump "material" somewhere in Europe.
And this time the American operatives agreed, though with serious reservations, since it was obvious the Russian was connected to the Federal Security Department (FSB), the successor to the KGB.
The Russian eventually delivered information that had been publicly released by the Shadow Brokers, and the Trump information he pushed was already in the public domain or dubious.
No officials wanted to pass on information they thought might help determine what had happened. But the newspaper insisted that the American spies were more interested in the NSA hacking tools than the dirt on Trump.
The Times obtained four of the documents that the Russian in Germany tried to pass to US intelligence (The Times did not pay for the material). They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.