CIA Director Mike Pompeo answers questions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Thursday, April 13, 2017. Pompeo denounced WikiLeaks, calling the anti-secrecy group a "hostile intelligence agency." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (AP)

CIA chief Mike Pompeo contradicts Trump, says Russia meddled in 2016 election

In a statement the CIA said Pompeo "stands by and has always stood by" the intelligence community assessment


Charlie May
November 11, 2017 10:14PM (UTC)

After President Donald Trump said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has been sincere in his denials that Russia didn't interfere in the 2016 election, CIA director Mike Pompeo, contradicted the president on Saturday and said he stood by the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies.

In January, the intelligence community released an assessment which said multiple agencies had agreed that Russia made attempts to interfere in the election.

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While on Air Force One early on Saturday Trump told reporters that Putin told him his country did not attempt to meddle in last year's election, but the Kremlin's press secretary denied that the topic had been discussed at all.

"He said he didn't meddle, he said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times," Trump said.

But on Saturday afternoon the CIA made it quite clear that the president, and Pompeo had a much different position on the matter.

"The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections," the CIA said in a statement when asked about a reaction to Trump's comments earlier in the day, CNN reported.

The agency added, "The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed."

Trump also took direct shots at former members of the intelligence community such as James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper.

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"I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks," Trump said. "So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker. So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them."

While in-depth details about what exactly occurred during the 2016 election are not, and may never be, completely understood, Trump has dangerously shown zero concern over the issue repeatedly.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and multiple committees on Capitol Hill are probing Russia's alleged attempts as well as potential connections that the Russian government may have had with Trump's campaign.

It's been reported that various members of the campaign have strange ties to the country and Mueller has already landed two indictments which include Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and his business associate, Rick Gates. On the same day the two were indicted it was revealed that George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in his original interviews about contacts with Russia.

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The Justice Department affidavit showed that Papadopoulos proposed to establish a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Putin during a meeting on March 31, 2016, in which both Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Trump, attended.

In two congressional testimonies earlier this year, Sessions categorically denied having contacts with Russians, or that he was aware of any contacts with Russians. Only recently, did he admit that he now remembers Papadopoulos' proposal.

 

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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