The reported CIA spy working inside the Kremlin was fired years ago -- that's the claim from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who responded Tuesday to a CNN report that said the U.S. had extracted the man in 2017.
Russian media identified the alleged spy as Oleg Smolenkov.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KREMLIN SPOKESMAN, DMITRY PESKOV, SAYING: "(Oleg) Smolenkov really used to work for the presidential administration but a few years ago he was dismissed after an internal order.
His job did not belong to high authority positions, so-called "appointed" (directly by the president) positions." CNN did not identify the spy but reported the man had access to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A source familiar with U.S. monitoring of Russian activities confirmed to Reuters that there was a CIA asset inside the Russian government who had been extracted.
Peskov called the story, quote, "pulp fiction." CNN reported that the extraction followed an Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump AND Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in May 2017.
During that meeting, the two reportedly discussed highly classified intelligence, but a U.S. government source and Lavrov both denied any secrets had been revealed.