CIA Director Has 'Every Expectation' That Russia Will Try to Target Midterm Elections

| JAN 30, 2018 | 2:15 PM

Drew Angerer /Getty Images

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a recent interview he anticipates Russia will try to meddle in the upcoming midterm elections later this year.

"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 CIA chief made it clear there's been no substantial diminishing of Russian attempts at interference in the U.S. or in Europe.

Back in 2017, the intelligence community released a detailed report that showed Russia launched a campaign aimed at assisting then-candidate Donald Trump in capturing the White House in 2016.

Trump has said he's taken Russian President Vladimir Putin's word. “He said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump said. ”He did not do what they're saying he did.”

However, Pompeo stands by the report.

"The director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment entitled: 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.' The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” a spokesperson for the agency told The Hill.

Pompeo also warned Russia may have the ability to strike the U.S. with a nuclear weapon “in a handful of months.”

He also told the BBC that China remains a considerable threat to the U.S. “We see it in our schools, in our hospitals and medical systems, we see it throughout corporate America,” Pompeo said.

“These 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,” he said.