Connect with us

Allegations that a suspected CIA mole discovered that Vladimir Putin had spearheaded efforts to meddle in the 2016 US election are lies and slander, Russia has said.

US media reports have said the spy had access to the Russian president and could even get images of documents on the Russian leader’s desk.

Named by Russian media as Oleg Smolenkov, he provided information for more than a decade, according to CNN.

The New York Times said he was instrumental in the CIA’s conclusion that Mr Putin not only ordered and orchestrated a campaign of election meddling, but that he favoured Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he returns to the White House
Image:
Donald Trump’s campaign has denied any collusion with Russia to influence the election

He is said to have been withdrawn in 2017 following concerns that Mr Trump was being open with classified intelligence, CNN said.

The decision to extract him was apparently taken after a meeting at the White House in May 2017, in which the US president allegedly discussed sensitive information with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and the then Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

The following month, Mr Smolenkov is reported to have disappeared with his wife Antonina and three children while on holiday in Montenegro.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said Mr Smolenkov “could not have had any role in so-called election meddling because there was no meddling”.

He added: “And what is happening in terms of such interpretations is just the piling up of one lie on top of another and the multiplication of slander about us.”

Russia has admitted, however, that Mr Smolenkov was on the payroll.

“I can only state that this employee existed, that he was fired, and that we don’t know whether he was a spy or not,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“This is a question for the intelligence services – they are doing their job.”

The Kremlin added that Mr Smolenkov was not a high-level official and did not have access to Mr Putin.

The Reuters news agency quoted two sources as saying a CIA informant in the Russian government had been extracted and taken to the US in 2017.

There is a house listed as owned by a man called Oleg Smolenkov in Stafford, near Washington, Russian news agency RIA said.

It is in an area where many former US military and FBI personnel are said to live.

RIA said that when it visited the house, the curtains were drawn, there was no sign of activity inside and no one answered the door.

Neighbour Greg Tally said the property’s residents had Russian accents and left abruptly after a reporter turned up.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Archie heads to South Africa for first royal tour with mum and dad | World News

Published

on

Harry and Meghan’s baby Archie will arrive in South Africa with his parents this morning for their first official tour as a family.

It is unclear how soon the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be seen with their son after their arrival in Cape Town, as there is no formal photo opportunity at the airport.

The palace said this was due to South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa being at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Buckingham Palace said earlier this month that they were hoping Archie would make a public appearance but were sorting out the details.

The palace said the couple are looking forward to the 10-day tour which will see them visit Cape Town and Johannesburg, with Prince Harry also travelling alone to Botswana, Angola and Malawi.

Duke of Sussex says he will only have two children because of climate change concerns
Image:
Archie was born in May this year and was introduced to the world by his parents

The prospect of seeing five-month-old Archie on his first overseas tour has increased international media attention, with 80 travelling media accredited to cover the trip, along with another 300 local journalists, TV crews and photographers.

It comes after a difficult summer for the Sussexes, including criticism of the £2m bill to refurbish Frogmore Cottage, and suggestions they were being hypocritical for using private jets for their holidays while campaigning about issues around climate change. Some royal commentators see this tour as an opportunity to rebuild their reputation.

One of the issues the couple will focus on is gender-based violence, as their visit follows a series of protests in South Africa against the increase in the number of women being raped and murdered. Mr Ramaphosa admitted the country is facing a national crisis of violence against women, and Meghan is expected to show support for those campaigning on the issue.

Zintle Olayi, the Cape Town spokesperson for #TheTotalShutdown intersectional women’s movement, told Sky News: “I think our country is really broken, and we’re not ok and I’m not sure really how we are going to receive them coming here but definitely it couldn’t hurt to have someone of that profile or that magnitude to speak on the issues of gender-based violence.”

Talking about the impact Meghan could have, Ms Olayi added: “It means the state will take us seriously, the private sector will take us seriously and in general men in South Africa will take us seriously, seeing someone as Meghan speaking against the behaviour men inflict on women on a daily basis.”

:: Listen to the Behind the Headlines podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

The first engagement of the tour will be at a township in Cape Town where the Sussexes will view a workshop that teaches children about their rights, self-awareness and safety and which provides self-defence classes and female empowerment training to young girls in the community.

They will then go to the District Six Museum to learn about how they are reuniting members of the community forcibly relocated during the apartheid era, when more than more than 60,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

WOKINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor attend The King Power Royal Charity Polo Day at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Image:
Harry and Meghan were seen with baby Archie at the polo in July

Shahied Ajam was living there at the time and now helps those still fighting to return. Speaking about the royal visit and the painful legacy of apartheid, he said: “For Prince Harry to come here, I must say, is a big step towards the what we call the healing process. If people see Harry and talk to him, maybe he will understand and identify with their plight.”

He added: “In regards to the history of the English, or Britain, in this country, if we speak in terms of colonialism we can’t wipe that away but Harry being of a new generation can turn the tables with a gesture. With a practical and tangible gesture to say to the people of District Six: ‘I’m here for you’.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-athletics-is-rarely-mentioned-and-it-only-has-itself-to-blame-11817526' target='_blank'>Athletics is rarely mentioned and it only has itself to blame</a>

Published

on


<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-athletics-is-rarely-mentioned-and-it-only-has-itself-to-blame-11817526' target='_blank'>Athletics is rarely mentioned and it only has itself to blame</a>

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

Current Paris accord climate targets ‘no longer enough’, UN envoy tells Sky | Climate News

Published

on

Commitments made under the Paris climate agreement are now no longer enough to limit global warming to acceptable levels, the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change has told Sky News.

His comments come as heads of state and government gather in New York for the UN climate action summit.

Luis Alfonso de Alba said: “The biggest problem we have is that we need to increase the targets.

“If we fulfil the commitments that were made in Paris in 2015 we will still be very much below what is needed.

“The latest reports of the scientific community tell us that we need to double and in some cases to triple what we have committed in Paris.

“Climate change is moving faster than we expected, and faster than we are reacting to, so the meeting is a sound of an alarm.”

Mr de Alba said he ‘regrets’ that America, one of the world’s biggest polluters, is pulling out of the Paris accord, but that there is no time to wait for Donald Trump to change his mind.



Luis Alfonso de Alba







Luis Alfonso de Alba says commitments in 2015 Paris accord will have to be altered

I asked if the world can make the progress it needs to while President Trump is in office.

He replied: “No-one is telling us that they are going to wait for others to move before they do.

“The majority (of countries) are moving on… this is not a problem for 2030 or 2050… actions need to take place today.”



mgmdslgr







Climate change in world’s most northern town

His comments come days after millions of people took part in a series of climate strikes around the world, calling for stronger action to limit global warming.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is optimistic.

Big polluters like China and the UK are expected to announce new commitments at the summit, alongside major businesses who will lay out ambitious plans for helping to drive global net carbon emissions down to zero by 2050.



Climate change activist Greta Thunberg was just eight when she became passionate about the planet







Explained: The rise of Greta Thunberg

Mr Ban told Sky News that eventually he thinks the US will fall into line.

That’s partly because the increasingly dramatic effects of our warming planet will force it to.

Factories pump out emissions
Image:
Factories pump out emissions. File pic

He said: “I’m sure that the United States will have to return… because climate change does not respect national borders.

“The United States is just one of us on planet earth.

“Nature does not negotiate with human society.”

But there are other geopolitical headwinds creating challenges for the UN summit.

The countries have been told that if they even want a speaking slot, they must bring concrete plans and enhanced commitments.

But globally there are a lot of potential distractions, including Brexit, escalating trade issues between China and the US, and tensions with Iran – making collective action on anything harder to achieve.

Professor James Hansen, a former NASA scientist, warned the US Congress about global warming in 1988.



preview image







Greta Thunberg inspired millions to take part in global protests

After decades of talking, he is sceptical of the value of endless summits and says the only viable option is for the biggest economies to adopt a price on carbon.



A 91-year-old man is led away after an extinction rebellion protest







91-year-old climate protester arrested near port of Dover

He said: “Nations are going to do what is in their best interests for raising their standard of living, and as long as fossil fuels appear to be their cheapest energy, then they will just keep burning them.

“The approach chosen; asking each country to ‘please reduce its emissions’, is simply not going to work.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending