Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo defends meeting with Russian spy chiefs

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Pompeo's response to Schumer's inquiries in a letter shared with The Cipher Brief doesn't confirm the controversial meeting in question took place, but instead talks about why US intelligence officials "periodically meet" counterparts from its Russian "adversary". And he continued to blast Pompeo on Thursday.

Schumer also asked Coats to disclose what was discussed at the meetings and whether the Russians also met with Trump administration officials at the White House, State or Defense departments or the National Security Council.

"The Trump administration must immediately come clean and answer questions", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Monday.

News of the meeting comes as Russia's interference in the 2016 election continues to cast a shadow over Washington. In an effort to avoid the appearance that he is politicizing the growing Russian Federation scandal, the minority leader has largely left discussion of Trump and Russian Federation to senators on the committees involved in investigating the issue.

Congressional panels and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Russia's alleged interference and possible collusion between Moscow and Trump's election campaign. Antonov said that Naryshkin's meetings addressed the "joint struggle against terrorism", though he did not offer further details.

"It is no accident the Russians announced this meeting", the USA official said.

Without naming names, she also said that everybody knows who carries out wide-ranging activities targeting other countries such as eavesdropping, stealing information, and infiltration.

The head of Russia's foreign intelligence service, SVR, Sergey Naryshkin, has been barred from entering the USA since 2014 sanctions for Russia's destabilizing activities in Ukraine were imposed. The names of Bortnikov and Naryshkin are mentioned in the list of high-ranking and influential Russians, published on December 29 and compiled by the US Treasury Department in the framework of the so-called Kremlin Report.

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"We don't see this sort of thing being reported very often", he said.

Schumer's decision to highlight Naryshkin's visit was an unusual move. "But even then, there was always a huge amount of mistrust" and differing views on terrorism "that got in the way of cooperation", Weiss said.

Murphy said he's concerned about the continuing influence as well and warned that Russians are aligned "temporarily" with Republicans "because they think it suits their interests.because Trump is taking America off the playing field in parts of the world in which Russia wants to exert influence". Add to that the charged political environment in Washington surrounding Russian Federation. "There are political proclamations, there is real work", Antonov said.

The intelligence community has been actively trying to suppress and deter Russian Federation.

The CIA has acknowledged that the meeting with Russian officials took place, but did not reveal which Russian officials attended the meeting. "We vigorously defend America in this enters and pull no punches - we never will".

"I can't recall any time in the last 15 years" that all three Russian agency chiefs were in the US capital at the same time, Steven Hall, a former CIA station chief in Moscow, told RFE/RL.

The Russians "consider it a big political win if they can do it".

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