CIA director expects Russia will try to target US mid-term elections

LONDON: CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he expects Russia will target US mid-term elections later this year as part of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence domestic politics across the West.

In an interview with the BBC, Pompeo also said that North Korea might have the ability to strike the United States with nuclear missiles “in a handful of months”. He said the threat from Russia would not go away and asked if Russia would try to influence the mid-term elections later this year, he said, “Of course. I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that.”

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“But I am confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election. That we’ll push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won’t be great.”

‘China as big threat to US as Russia’

Chinese efforts to exert covert influence over the West are just as concerning as Russian subversion, the director of the CIA said.

Pompeo also said China was trying to steal US information.

He told the BBC that the Chinese “have a much bigger footprint” to do this than the Russians do.

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As examples, he cited efforts to steal US commercial information and infiltration of schools and hospitals – and this extended to Europe and the UK.

Pompeo was a hardline Republican congressman before becoming CIA chief.

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