Schumer: Why was Putin’s top spy let into country?

Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is demanding the Trump administration explain why it let Russia’s top spy into the country, where he reportedly met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. 

Schumer sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats asking why Sergey Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, was allowed to enter the United States despite sanctions that block his travel. 
“While the U.S. frequently interacts with foreign governments, a U.S. meeting with the chief of the SVR a little more than a year after our Intelligence Community unanimously concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election raises a number important questions,” Schumer wrote. 
The visit, Schumer noted, came shortly before the Trump administration announced it was delaying implementation of new sanctions against Russia, despite the legislation calling for the sanctions passing through Congress with an overwhelming majority. 
“The administration took little to no action, even as Russia continues its cyberattacks on the U.S,” Schumer wrote. 
{mosads}He added: “Given these circumstances, the decision to host a senior Russian intelligence official at this juncture, and the Intelligence Community’s involvement in this decision, requires additional transparency for the American people.”

The Russian embassy tweeted earlier this week that Naryshkin had been in the United States “for consultations with … counterparts on the struggle against terrorism.” CNN reported that Naryshkin met with Pompeo. 

Schumer is asking Coats to hand over details on the visit by Feb. 9, including why the administration decided to allow Naryshkin and any other Russian officials into the country and if any meetings or talks with the Russian government proceeded this decision. 
He also wants to know if any other Russian officials traveled wth Naryshkin, if anyone else was under U.S. sanctions and what waivers were used to allow them into the country. 
The letter comes after Schumer demanded to know on Tuesday who from the Trump administration met with Naryshkin. 
He reiterated his demand in his letter, also asking what was discussed and if any U.S. officials brought up Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Russian cyberattacks or warned the country against interfering in the 2018 or 2020 election. 

Timothy Barrett, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, did not confirm to CNN that Naryshkin met with Pompeo, but did assert that “any interaction with foreign intelligence agencies would have been conducted in accordance with US law and in consultation with appropriate departments and agencies.”

Tags Charles Schumer Charles Schumer Dan Coats Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections russian spy
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