CIA chief: Russians will meddle in coming US election

2018-01-30 23:14
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Russian election interference has not stopped and Moscow can be expected to meddle in the 2018 US vote, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said in an interview released on Monday.

"I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity," Pompeo told the BBC of the Russians.

"I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that, but I'm confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election (and) that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won't be great."

The leading US intelligence agencies concluded at the end of 2016 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had directed a broad intelligence effort to influence the presidential election that year to undermine the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump's chances.

That effort included hacking and releasing emails and documents from the Clinton campaign, filling social media with posts and "news" items aimed at discrediting her, as well as targeted voter-registration operations and election databases.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the idea that Moscow helped him - and allegations his campaign colluded with the Russians - as "fake news".

Pompeo, whom Trump appointed to the US spy agency, has deftly avoided that controversy while emphasising he accepts the conclusions of his predecessor.

'Transparently cynical'

His interview came on the same day the Trump administration declined to impose new sanctions on Russia, the FBI's number two stepped down after being involved in a probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and a Republican-led panel voted to release a memo claiming FBI abuses in the investigation.

Trump has accused Andrew McCabe, the FBI's deputy director, of being a Democratic partisan.

In a party-line vote, the House Intelligence Committee voted to make publicly available a Republican-drafted classified memo that reportedly says the FBI abused a surveillance law when it used an opposition research dossier on Trump's Russia ties as part of its probe.

But the panel also voted against releasing a competing memo written by Democrats.

The president now has five days to allow or object to releasing the Republican memo.

"Committee Republicans JUST voted to declassify their spin 'memo' and prohibit release of the Democratic response in what they claimed was 'the interests of full transparency'," the committee's top Democrat, Representative Adam Schiff, tweeted.

"It was transparent alright - transparently cynical and destructive."

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is believed to be focusing on whether Trump illegally interfered with the Russia investigation, particularly when he fired FBI director James Comey last year.

Mueller, himself a former FBI director, is also examining the extent of communications between Russians and Trump campaign officials.

Three congressional committees have also been probing Russian meddling in US politics, though they come at a time of a toxic political environment in a sharply divided Congress.

Read more on:    us  |  russia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.