Decades ago, the CIA recruited and carefully cultivated a midlevel Russian official who began rapidly advancing through the governmental ranks. Eventually, American spies struck gold: The longtime source landed an influential position that came with access to the highest level of the Kremlin.

As US officials began to realise that Russia was trying to sabotage the 2016 presidential election, the informant became one of the CIA's most important — and highly protected — assets. But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the

Advertisement
Advertisement