Russia Pulls Controversial Spymaster Out Of U.S.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, William Shepherd and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak

The Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak is being recalled as the Russia probe is gaining more heat. Kislyak is one of the two Russian officials that Trump gave classified information to during a visit at the White House in May.

A Controversial Ambassador

Kislyak and Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov gained access to intelligence on ISIS terrorists collected by Israeli spy agencies. Trump accidentally handed that information to them and later apologized, saying that the info was already public.

Kislyak is also at the center of the controversy surrounding Trump’s disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn. The two officials allegedly had backdoor discussions last December, in which Flynn reassured Russia that the Obama-era sanctions on the country would be lifted after Trump is sworn in.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is also under scrutiny for meeting with Kislyak last year and failing to report the meeting. Amid all these controversies, Russia decided to remove the envoy from the position he has held for nine years.

Russia Gives No Official Explanation

Kislyak started his career as a diplomat for the former Soviet Union in the early 1980s. He was recently pulled out of the country without an explanation. BuzzFeed found that a farewell dinner in his honor was scheduled for July 11 by the Russia Business Council. The ambassador’s departure date is currently unknown.

It is unclear why Kislyak is called back home after serving Russia so many years in the U.S. with notable success. It may be because anyone spotted around him becomes sooner or later an FBI suspect.

The charges against Kushner and Flynn are quite clear. The Washington Post learned from sources that the three men had discussed the possibility of creating a secret communications channel between the White House and the Kremlin that could fend off U.S. spy agencies and White House leakers. The two Trump transition team officials wanted the channel to discuss sensitive issues such as the civil war in Syria.
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