Three people familiar with the officer's identity told the Times he is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at The White House and has since returned to the CIA. The report added that, based on the newly-released whistleblower complaint, he "was an analyst by training" who was "steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law."
As the Times notes, CIA officers routinely work in The White House, often working on the National Security Council or managing secure communications with foreign leaders. But this officer didn't work on the communications team, the Times reported.
That level of detail spurred widespread criticism of the Times from lawyers, intelligence professionals, former government officials, journalists, and others.
Hearing the sounds of Afghans screaming and looking out at the black smoke of burning tires beyond the perimeter in May 2005, I got my first taste of how poorly researched journalism can have real-world consequences.