CNN: Suspected Spies Casing Russian Defectors Were Among Diplomats Expelled

on April 18, 2018 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

Suspected Russian spies casing Russian defectors were among the 60 diplomats the Trump administration expelled from the United States last month, CNN reported Wednesday.

CNN reported that among the expelled diplomats were Russian spies who, unnamed law enforcement and intelligence officials believe, “were tracking Russian defectors and their families who had resettled in the US.”

Trump expelled the diplomats in response to Russia’s alleged poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Britain earlier in March. At the time of the expulsion, unnamed senior Trump administration officials told the Associated Press that all of the expelled diplomats were in reality spies using diplomatic titles as cover.

The Trump administration also ordered the closure of Russia’s consulate in Seattle in response to the poisonings. On Wednesday, State Department personnel drilled through the locks on that compound and entered it — despite Russian protests that it was still the country’s property, and though its Russian occupants had left the grounds the previous day.

According to CNN’s Wednesday report, the alleged Russian spies were “believed to be casing someone who was part of a CIA program that provided new identities to protect resettled Russians,” according to CNN’s unnamed sources.

Read CNN’s full report here.

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