CIA head defends meeting with Russian spy chief

CIA head defends meeting with Russian spy chief
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Pompeo sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted' Over 1,600 lawyers sign letter saying Mueller probe must be protected MORE (D-N.Y.) saying he suggested during a press conference earlier this week that "there was something untoward" about the meeting.
 
"Let me assure you there is not. We periodically meet with our Russian intelligence counterparts for the same reason our predecessors did — to keep Americans safe," Pompeo said.
 
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Schumer had questioned whom Sergey Naryshkin, the director of Russia's foreign intelligence service, met with while he was in the United States and questioned if the visit was tied to the Trump administration's decision to delay implementing sanctions against Russia, which was announced Monday.
 
Pompeo said in his letter that during the meetings "we cover very difficult subjects in which American and Russian interests do not align."
 
"Neither side is bashful about raising concerns relating to our intelligence relationships and the interests of our respective nations. We vigorously defend America in these encounters and pull no punches — we never will," he wrote.
 
A spokesman for Schumer was quick to note that Pompeo's letter did not address if the sanctions against Russia — which passed Congress with an overwhelming majority last year — were brought up during the meeting.
 
The Russian embassy tweeted earlier this week that Naryshkin had been in the United States "for consultations with ... counterparts on the struggle against terrorism."
 
Pompeo, whom CNN reported Naryshkin had met with, added that while Russia is an "adversary," American lives would be put "at greater risk if we ignored opportunities to work with the Russian services in the fight against terrorism."