Director of CIA 'expecting' Russia to attempt to interfere in US mid-term elections

Mike Pompeo says the US "will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust"

Director of CIA 'expecting' Russia to attempt to interfere in US mid-term elections

CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Picture by: Susan Walsh/AP/Press Association Images

The Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo has said he expects attempted Russian interference in this year's US mid-term elections.

Mr Pompeo made the comments in an interview with BBC, suggesting he has not seen a 'significant decrease' in Russian activity since the 2016 election.

He observed: "The Russians have a long history of these information campaigns. That part of it's not new - the technology that enables it is now cheap and plentiful.

"This threat's not going to go away. The Russians have been at this for a long time, and I fully expect they'll continue to be at it."

When asked if Russia is likely to attempt to interfere in this year's US midterm elections - which will see all seats in the House of Representatives and a third of all Senate seats up for grabs - Mr Pompeo suggested: "I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that.

"I am confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election. [We] will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust... that the impact they have on our election won't be great."

The CIA is one of the agencies that has alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

It, along with the FBI and NSA, accused Vladimir Putin or ordering a campaign aimed at 'undermining public faith in the US democratic process, denigrating Hilary Clinton, and harming her electability and potential presidency'.

The agencies also claimed that the Russian government 'developed a clear preference' for Donald Trump during the election campaign.

'Exquisite truth'

During the BBC interview, Mr Pompeo also commented on his working relationship with President Trump - saying he provides the US President with intelligence briefings almost every day the two men are in Washington DC.

He observed: "We deliver nearly every day personally to the president the most exquisite truth that we know from the CIA.

"[President Trump] is very focused in the sense that he is curious about the facts that we present. He is curious in the sense he wants to understand why we believe them."

Mr Pompeo - who had previously served as a Republican Congressman from Kansas - has been in his role since last January, after being nominated as CIA Director by Donald Trump.