It is now known that Russian Federation, our enemy, did interfere with the last Presidential election.
The intelligence community was involved in an effort to investigate and determine whether it could gain access to stolen government data, according to a US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
Fearing the man might have been working with the Russian government and purposefully providing false information to create discord in the American government, U.S. officials cut ties with the operative. It was determined later that the offer was bogus and the people behind it couldn't produce any of the stolen government data, this official said.
Several US intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian, who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals.
The Russian claimed to have access to the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency to what he said was a video of Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.
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"The fictional story that Central Intelligence Agency was bilked out of $100,000 is patently false", the spokesman said.
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.
That, at least, is the official story as reported by The New York Times Friday night.
According to the newspaper, a part of the money - $100 thousand - was delivered in cash in a suitcase to one of the hotels in Berlin.
Also unclear is why the United States would think it could retrieve stolen computer code and be assured that it would never be given to anyone else or released publicly. In October and December he delivered documents he alleged contained information which implicated Trump's associates, but the Times reports that most of the information the documents included were already public knowledge.
With 20/20 hindsight, U.S. intelligence was driven by desperation to recover the hacking tools which have been used to wreak havoc on millions of computers across the world, one veteran spy said. "That's peanuts. That's not even a rounding error with the budgets we're talking about".