Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Central Intelligence Agency defends meeting with Russian spy officials

The Trump Administration Let a Russian Spy Chief Visit the US— Even Though He Was Legally Barred Russian spy chief visited United States - Russian embassy
Derrick Tucker | 03 February, 2018, 01:43

"Sergey Naryshkin was here [in the United States]. He came. He held consultations with his colleagues", Antonov said. We maintained contact in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics.

In the midst of broader concerns about the Trump administration's willingness to adopt a harsh stance toward Russia and Vladimir Putin-and its decision not to enforce sanctions on key Russian officials despite an overwhelming congressional vote in favor-Schumer and other Democrats are concerned about the substance of any meetings that took place between senior USA intelligence officials and their Russian counterparts.

"We cover very hard subjects in which American and Russian interests do not align", Pompeo said.

During an interview with state television on Tuesday, Ambassador Antonov said that contacts among Russian and USA intelligence services continued "even in the most hard of times".

He added that "politics is politics, work is work".

"Anybody sitting inside U.S. government today not only has to make decisions about the practical aspects of dealing with Russian counterparts, but also the political fallout", Weiss said.

The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, told a Russian radio station on Tuesday that CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met with Russian spy officials, but he did not say where the meeting occurred or say specifically who attended. At the time, he was the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma.

"We can watch very focused efforts to steal American information, to infiltrate the United States with spies, with people who are going to work on behalf of the Chinese government against America", he said.

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Naryshkin was appointed head of the SVR by Russian President Vladimir Putin in September, 2016.

The meeting, which addressed the countries' mutual interest in preventing terrorist attacks, took place amid high tensions between Russian Federation and the United States over a Kremlin-directed campaign to interfere with the 2016 elections.

The Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported last week that the Russian operation "Cozy Bear", which is thought to be responsible for hacking Democratic National Committee emails, was operated by the SVR, according to Reuters.

The Russian officials' visit was made public on Tuesday by the state-run ITAR-Tass news agency and the Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov tweeted the report.

However, the Russian influence also came into play over a decision to release a Republican memo claiming Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct in obtaining a search warrant against former Trump aide Carter Page, said Murphy.

"It shouldn't surprise us that a leader of the biggest intelligence service in the world described China like this", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press conference in Beijing.

And lawmakers are blasting the Trump administration for failing to impose new Russia-related sanctions that some had expected this week.

"I can't recall any time in the last 15 years" that all three Russian agency chiefs were in the USA capital at the same time, Steven Hall, a former CIA station chief in Moscow, told RFE/RL. "Which U.S. official did he meet with?" The White House is discussing whether to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, two White House officials said.

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