CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Tuesday rejected two recent reports that said U.S. spies were cheated out of $100,000 when they paid a Russian spy to return stolen hacking tools, but instead received unverified information.
The Intercept and the New York Times both reported that a Russian offered to return that information for $1 million, and also offered information about President Trump.
But in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday, Pompeo said none of that story was true.
"Reporting on this matter has been atrocious, it's been ridiculous, totally inaccurate," he said.
"In our view, the suggestion the CIA was swindled is false," he said. "The people who were swindled were James Risen and Matt Rosenberg, the authors of those two pieces."
Risen writes for the Intercept, and Rosenberg writes for the New York Times.
The CIA days earlier put out a similar statement to refute the stories, but Rosenberg said that statement seemed to be saying the CIA was not directly cheated out of the money. The New York Times story claimed an indirect payment was made.
But Pompeo stressed that no payment of any kind was made to the Russian.
"The CIA did not provide any resources, no money to these two individuals who proffered U.S. government information directly or indirectly at any time," he said.