Central Intelligence Agency director Pompeo met top Russian spies

Cheryl Sanders
February 1, 2018

"Contacts between special services continued even at the most hard times".

"The director of Russia's foreign intelligence, Sergey Naryshkin, has visited the United States for consultations with USA counterparts on the struggle against terrorism", Russia's embassy in the US wrote in a Tweet on Tuesday, citing Ambassador Anatoly Antonov. "Russia hacked our elections".

Huntsman had told Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy Tuesday that Russian and US intelligence officials had met, but did not specifically name Naryshkin.

Naryshkin - who was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to head the SVR in September 2016 - was sanctioned by the Obama administration in March 2014 as part of the U.S. response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Among those Pompeo met was Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR, according to Russia's state news agency Itar Tass.

Sergei Naryshkin - the speaker of the Russian Duma - and Russia's President Vladimir Putin near Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 22, 2016.

Naryshkin's trip to the United States raised concerns among some US senators.

Antonov did not identify the United States intelligence officials with whom he met. During a trip to Asia in November, the president said Russian Federation had been "very heavily sanctioned" and urged "it's now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken". "We sanctioned the head of their foreign intelligence and then the Trump administration invites him to waltz through our front door".

He was banned from entering the United States, but sanctions experts told Reuters there are processes allowing people under sanction to enter for official business. "The Trump administration must immediately come clean and answer questions".

Pompeo recently said in a January 29 interview with the BBC that US and Russian spy agencies had cooperated, but he told the BBC that Russia is still considered an adversary.

The key question, Schumer told reporters, is whether Naryshkin's visit accounted for the administration's decision on Monday not to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation under a law passed past year to punish Moscow's purported election meddling. "While we do not discuss the schedules of USA intelligence leaders, rest assured that any interaction with foreign intelligence agencies would have been conducted in accordance with USA law and in consultation with appropriate departments and agencies".

"I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity", he said.

The Post noted that Moscow and the US have shared information on terrorism in the past, but the process is not usually so robust or close. Pompeo had on Monday told the BBC he believes that Russian Federation will seek to interfere in November's mid-term elections. Last May, the president revealed highly classified intelligence to Russia's foreign minister and ambassador in a meeting at the White House, according to current and former intelligence officials, who said Trump jeopardized a crucial source of intelligence about plans for terrorist attacks by the Islamic State.

The directors of Russia's three main intelligence and espionage agencies all traveled to the US capital in recent days, in what observers said was a highly unusual occurrence coming at a time of heightened U.S.

Trump's willingness to court Moscow also has anxious many intelligence officials, who say it has damaged operations.

Other reports by iNewsToday