CIA Director, Mike Pompeo believes the Russians will target the U.S. mid-term elections and that there has been “no significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US.”
“We’re the world’s finest espionage service. I’m incredibly proud of that,” said Pompeo. “We are going to go out there and do our damnedest to steal secrets on behalf of the American people.”
Although Trump has done nothing to counter further interference in U.S. elections and has not acknowledged that Russia stole secrets, or Hillary’s emails, to help him take the White House, Pompeo downplayed the notion as “drivel” that Trump is unfit for the job. He delivers daily briefings to Trump, who he says is attentive and interested in the information in the reports.
Notably at odds with Trump, Pompeo recognizes Russia as a primary adversary.
“I haven’t seen a significant decrease in their activity,” he said of Russia.
Also at odds with the idea that Russia is an adversary, the White House has reportedly said there’s no need for new Russia sanctions.
Political reporter, Eugene Scott commented on the matter on Twitter, noting the story from the Washington Post that the White House won’t implement Russia-sanctions mandated by Congress last year “because the threat itself is acting as a “deterrent.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo says Russia will attempt to interfere in America’s 2018 midterm elections. And yet … 👇🏿 https://t.co/OLtO1QBAQd
— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) January 30, 2018
Congressman Ted Lieu also weighed in, tweeting,
“Dear CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Can you please tell @realDonaldTrump what you have told America?
Oh wait, maybe you did already tell @POTUS. Is that why Trump is refusing to implement the bipartisan, bicameral sanctions that Congress passed against Russia?”
Dear CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Can you please tell @realDonaldTrump what you have told America?
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 30, 2018
Although Pompeo believes Russia will be back in their attempts to meddle in elections shortly, he expressed confidence that “we will push back.”
From the BBC:
Asked if his concerns extended to the upcoming US mid-term elections in November, he replied: “Of course. 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 also played down the problem with Trump’s erratic and sometimes threatening Twitter comments, such when he tweeted, “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” taunting the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un.
“It hasn’t caused us any trouble,” said Pompeo. “We perform our mission. We leave to others their public communications. I’ve watched a number of the President’s communications have a real-world positive impact,” he continued.
In fact, the CIA director believes Trump’s Twitter use has helped Kim Jong-un understand “the message that America is serious.”
“When you see this language that the president chooses to use, there are many audiences for it and… I assure you Kim Jong-un understands the message that America is serious,” said Pompeo.
If Pompeo doesn’t recognize any threat in Donald’s twitter taunts of the North Korean leader, he does see that North Korea could become a much more dangerous adversary in the very near future. From what he said, it would appear that the conflict could escalate beyond diplomacy.
“We talk about him having the ability to deliver nuclear weapons to the United States in a matter of a handful of months,” Mr Pompeo says.
“Our task is to have provided the intelligence to the president of the United States that will deliver to him a set of options that continue to take down that risk by non-diplomatic means.”
Meanwhile, the former CIA Director, John Brennan indicated that protecting Special Counsel Mueller from Donald Trump should be a priority today.
“Ample basis exists to enact legislation to protect Special Counsel Mueller from political interference. Irrespective of party in power, US strength rests on ability to safeguard rule of law, even at times of deep partisan rancor. Let investigative chips fall where they may.”
Ample basis exists to enact legislation to protect Special Counsel Mueller from political interference. Irrespective of party in power, US strength rests on ability to safeguard rule of law, even at times of deep partisan rancor. Let investigative chips fall where they may.
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) January 29, 2018
See the video of the BBC interview below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube