CIA expects Russia will interfere with US mid-term elections later this year, says agency director Mike Pompeo

Washington: Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said he expects Russia will target the US mid-term elections later this year, a media report said.

File image of CIA director Mike Pompeo. AP

File image of CIA director Mike Pompeo. AP

Speaking to the BBC, Pompeo said there had been no significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US.

The US intelligence community has said that it believes Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

A year into the job, Pompeo said his mission has been to unleash and unburden the CIA, whose intelligence assessments "can be the basis not just for military action, but also political controversy", the BBC report said on Tuesday.

Even though there has been cooperation in counter-terrorism between the two (with the CIA helping stop a plot in St. Petersburg in 2017), Pompeo said he still saw Russia primarily as an adversary.

Sharing concerns in many European countries about Moscow's subversion, the CIA chief said, "I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity."

Asked if his concerns extended to the upcoming US mid-term elections in November, Pompeo told the BBC, "Of course. I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that."

However, he said he was confident that the US would be able to have a free and fair election and would "push back" so that the "impact they have on our election won't be great".

He also said North Korea may have the ability to strike the US with nuclear missiles "in a handful of months".

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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 10:49 AM

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