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Trump’s CIA director says he has ‘every expectation’ Russia will meddle in America’s 2018 midterms

On Monday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that he views Russia primarily as an adversary and shares the concerns of European countries that Moscow continues to interfere in their democratic elections. “I haven’t seen a significant decrease in their activity,” Pompeo told BBC News, and when asked if he expected Russia to meddle in America’s 2018 midterm elections, he replied: “Of course. I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that.” He added he’s “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.”

Also on Monday, Russia accused the U.S. of attempting to influence its March presidential election, specifically pointing to sanctions Congress told President Trump to impose on Russia as punishment for Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Trump administration then said it isn’t imposing those sanctions “because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent.”

The BBC’s Gordon Corera asked Pompeo, who briefs Trump most mornings, if he finds himself “having to walk a fine line” talking to Trump about Russia, since Trump has frequently dismissed Russian interference in the 2016 election while the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community publicly says Russia intervened to help Trump win. “I don’t do fine lines, I do the truth,” Pompeo said. “We deliver nearly every day personally to the president the most exquisite truth that we know from the CIA.”

Pompeo also said he tells Trump that North Korea might have nuclear missiles that could reach the U.S. in a matter of months, and that he sees his main goal as unshackling the CIA. “We are the world’s finest espionage service,” he said. “We are going to go out there and do our damnedest to steal secrets on behalf of the American people.”