US needs to be alert about Putin who is very aggressive, assertive and manipulative: CIA chief

Washington: CIA Director John Brennan said on Sunday that the US needs to be alert about Russian President Vladimir Putin as he is "very assertive, aggressive and manipulative".

"He (Putin) is somebody who is very aggressive, very assertive," the CIA Director John Brennan said.

"I think his intelligence background gives him a certain perspective. A lot of the senior Russian officials are also former KGB (Russian security agency). And so he's somebody that we need to, I think, be very wary of in terms of his ability to manipulate environments for Russia's advantage," he said while responding to a question.

He also said that Russians might be collecting information in cyber-realm, CBS News reported.

A file photo of Putin. AP

A file photo of Putin. AP

"I think that we have to be very, very wary of what the Russians might be trying to do in terms of collecting, as well collecting information in that cyber-realm, as well as what they might want to do with it," the CIA chief

"In certain areas, they are adversaries, yes. But also, in areas, we need to find ways to cooperate with them, because they do also have a vested interest in trying to bring stability and trying to dismantle these terrorist
organisations," he added.

Russia, he said, is a world power.

"They are involved in many different parts of the world, military capability. They're involved in the Middle East right now, obviously in Ukraine, Central Asia. So, Russia is a formidable adversary in a number of areas. Also, there are areas that we need to be able to work with Russia, specifically in Syria," he asserted.

Russia has "exceptionally" capable and sophisticated cyber-capabilities, in terms of collection, as well as whatever else it might want to do in that cyber-sphere, he said.

"So we have known this for quite a while. Their intelligence services are quite active around the world. This is something that we have to make sure that we're on guard for, not just for our national security purposes, but also for making sure that our system of government here is going to be preserved," he said.

He said that hacking of the server of the Democratic National Committee was a criminal activity.

Updated Date: Sep 12, 2016 09:51 AM

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