The feds launched an “unprecedented” probe into Britain’s former ambassador to the US because they feared he was leaking secret White House intel to his alleged lover — a CNN journalist, according to a sensational new report.
The Department of Justice investigation into Kim Darroch and his alleged relationship with CNN reporter Michelle Kosinski is thought to be the first into a serving British ambassador in Washington, The Sun reported.
“For the US to investigate the most senior diplomat of its greatest ally on suspicion of leaking secret information is almost unprecedented,” a security source told the outlet.
It’s unclear when the probe began, but it came some time after the “not well connected” Kosinski suddenly began landing major scoops in 2018 — some based on highly classified or extraordinarily difficult-to-obtain information, the Sun reported.
Eyebrows were raised in Feb. 2018 when Kosinski — who left NBC’s London bureau to work for CNN in 2014 – learned that CIA Director Mike Pompeo was being tapped as the next secretary of state. He was sworn in that April.
Shortly thereafter, she got a scoop on Pompeo’s highly sensitive trip to North Korea to lobby for the safe return of three US citizens.
A source told The Sun: “It was believed that no one on the US side would leak this information.”
The White House also wondered about a report Kosinski filed not long after Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March 2018, the outlet reported.
The murders were thought to be the work of Russian assassins and the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Other countries followed suit, but the US had not taken action yet. Six days later, Kosinski reported that America considered booting the Russian diplomats.
She later revealed “new and exclusive” details — citing “a senior foreign diplomat” she claimed European allies were getting “optimistic signals.”
Less than two weeks later, Kosinski was apparently being tipped off about US plans for tough sanctions against Russia, the Sun reported.
A source told The Sun that Kosinski, “knew about these sanctions before they were announced.”
The married Darroch, 66 — who began serving as UK ambassador to the US in 2016– denied all allegations of impropriety and was eventually cleared by investigators of passing information to the also-married Kosinski, 46, the outlet reported.
“Although the investigation found nothing over Darroch, the fact it happened is extraordinary,” a security source told the paper.
Little detail was revealed by the outlet about their alleged, “several months” affair, which it reported began in the beginning of 2018.
Kosinski and Darroch allegedly swapped “intimate messages,” seen by The Sun, in which they gave detailed plans for secret hook-ups. No examples were given.
The alleged relationship left Darroch vulnerable to the threat of blackmail by a hostile foreign power, a source told the Sun.
Kosinski told The Sun Saturday that Darroch was not a source for any of her stories, and denied having an affair with him.
Darroch resigned his post in July 2019 after leaked cables revealed he had called Trump “incompetent.”
“The leaks of the cables last year were obviously deeply embarrassing and left Darroch no option but to resign once President Trump made his feelings clear.
Kosinski appears to have left her CNN job five months later, according to her LinkedIn profile. A call to CNN by The Post was not returned Saturday. Kosinski could not be reached for comment.
Last April, Kosinski went to work for the American Association for Retired Persons, where she hosts “The Perfect Scam” podcast which focuses on stories about fraud.
She has been married to wealthy British investment banker-turned-philanthropist Kimbell Rush Duncan since 2014.
Darroch has been married 42 years and he and his wife have two grown children. Kosinski has two stepchildren with her husband.
Twitter was alight Saturday with talk of Kosinski and Lord Darroch’s alleged affair, with some noting how handsome Duncan is in comparison to the stodgy-looking Darroch.
“Did Michelle Kosinski sleep with him because she fancied him or because she thought she could get some great scoops out of him? Compare the photos of him and her husband and I think you’ll have a pretty good idea what the answer is,” tweeted David Cockerham.