CIA chief: ‘I have every expectation’ that Russia will try to influence midterms

CIA chief: ‘I have every expectation’ that Russia will try to influence midterms
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents MORE said in a new interview that he has “every expectation” that Russia will attempt to influence this year’s midterm elections in the United States.

“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,” Pompeo told the BBC.

The intelligence community concluded in a report released last year that Russia conducted a campaign aimed at helping President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE win the 2016 presidential election. 

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Pompeo stood by the report, even as Trump has said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of such an effort.

Congressional committees are conducting investigations to determine the scope and methods of Russian meddling, and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE is conducting a criminal investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Pompeo said Monday he hasn’t seen a decrease in Russian activity, and he still sees the Kremlin as the primary U.S. adversary. 

He added that China also poses a threat and has the ability to gain access to American information.

“We see it in our schools, in our hospitals and medical systems, we see it throughout corporate America. These [are] efforts we have to all be more focused on. We have to do better at pushing back against Chinese efforts to covertly influence the world,” Pompeo said.