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 PompeoMike PompeoChristie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group America needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries Harris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race 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 TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race 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 (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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.