Russian Spy Plot Article Reveals It's Time to 'Drain the Swamp'

U.S. President Donald Trump pauses while speaking to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington U.S

He claimed it would link the president and his associates to Russian Federation, the Times said, citing the officials.

The seller, who was not identified but had links to both cyber criminals and Russian intelligence, tantalized the United States spies with an offer of the NSA hacking tools that had been advertised for sale online by a shady group called the Shadow Brokers. However, the Russian, who had ties to both Eastern European cybercriminals and Russian intelligence, the groups believe to be behind the NSA cybertool thefts.

Those involved said that they initially became wary that the deal was not on the up and up because the Russian insisted so heavily on including the compromising information he claimed to have on President Trump and then quickly dropped his asking price from $10 million to $1 million when the Americans began to lose interest.

Only the first installment, $100,000 was paid, according to American and European intelligence officials.

After lengthy negotiations, the U.S. intelligence intermediary met the Russian spy in September in Berlin and gave him the first installment - $100,000, just to learn, alas, that he was, as he said, holding on to the NSA cyberweapons "at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials".

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That intelligence, the New York Times reported Friday evening, included an unverified "15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women", purported to be Trump with two prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.

Earlier this year, the Times reports, they gave him one more chance but he still did not follow through on providing the hacking tools and information he claimed to have. In exchange for it, the Russian provided unconfirmed and possibly fabricated data on Trump, as well as some information collected by Russian intelligence.

The Times' sources said the intelligence officials did not want to be caught up in a Russian plot to cause problems in the USA government, and they were concerned about the fallout if it was learned they'd bought information about Trump, so when it became clear he wasn't delivering the cyberweapons, they cut off the plot and threatened the Russian seller with arrest.

NSA officials were not available out of regular business hours for comment. There was no sound in the video and no evidence the man was Trump.

The Russian was told by the Americans to leave Western Europe and not return, according to the Times.

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