- CIA Director Mike Pompeo was interviewed by the BBC on Monday and answered questions about Russia’s possible interference in the 2018 midterm elections.
- Pompeo said he expects Russia to try to meddle in the midterm elections and that he hasn’t seen any diminishing attempts on their part.
- Pompeo also discussed the conflict with North Korea, Trump’s tough rhetoric, and Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in an interview with the BBC on Monday that he expects Russia to try to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections.
“I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that,” Pompeo told BBC reporter Gordon Corera. “But I’m 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.”
Pompeo also told the BBC that, despite some cooperation on anti-terrorism efforts, he views Russia as an adversary, stressing that they are still trying to influence the US and Europe.
The CIA director also answered questions about the conflict with North Korea, President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, and Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury.”
“We talk about [Kim Jong Un] having the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States in a matter of a handful of months,” Pompeo told the BBC. The CIA director said his job is to provide Trump with intelligence that will deliver “a set of options that continue to take down that risk by non-diplomatic means.”
Pompeo said there are many “possible” ways to remove Kim from power, and, concerning Trump’s tough rhetoric, that North Korea’s leader “understands the message that America is serious.”
When asked about Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury,” Pompeo called it “absurd.”
“I haven’t read the book. I don’t intend to,” Pompeo said, adding that the “claim that the president isn’t engaged and doesn’t have a grasp on these important issues is dangerous and false and it saddens me that someone would have taken the time to write such drivel.”
“He is very focused in the sense that he is curious about the facts that we present. He is curious in the sense he wants to understand why we believe them,” Pompeo said.
Wolff’s book allegedly quotes a number of Trump’s advisers and cabinet members who questioned the president’s intelligence.
For example, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly called him a “f—ing idiot” and National Economics Council Director Gary Cohn called him “dumb as s—.”