CIA Director Mike Pompeo expects Russia to target U.S. midterm elections as part of its attempts to influence domestic politics across the West, Reuters reports. He thinks that the threat from Russia would not go away, but he is also sure that the United States will be able to have a fair and free election.
In an interview on Tuesday, U.S. intelligence chief Pompeo noted Russia had a long history of information campaigns and added that its threat would not go away. He further expressed his strong belief that Russia will try to influence the mid-term elections, saying, “I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that.”
“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,” Pompeo added.
According to him, the world also has to do more to push back against Chinese meddling as well. He pointed out that China poses an equally great threat since they are “very active” with a world-class cyber capability.
“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.
“We see it in our schools, in our hospitals and medical systems, we see it throughout corporate America. These efforts we have to all be more focused on. We have to do better at pushing back against Chinese efforts to covertly influence the world,” Pompeo added.
The Kremlin has denied ever meddling in elections in the West, saying that anti-Russian sentiments are becoming commonplace in the United States and Europe.
In the interview, the CIA director also reiterated his message that North Korea might be able to strike the United States with nuclear missiles in a handful of months.
“I think that we collectively, the United States and our intelligence partners around the world, have developed a pretty clear understanding of (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un’s capability. We talk about him having the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States in a matter of a handful of months,” Pompeo said.