London (Reuters): CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Russia will target US mid-term elections later this year as part of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence domestic politics across the West, and warned the world had to do more to push back against Chinese meddling.
Russia has been accused of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the allegations, which Moscow denies, and whether there was any collusion involving President Donald Trump’s associates.
In an interview with the BBC aired on Tuesday, US intelligence chief Pompeo said Russia had a long history of information campaigns and said its threat would not go away.
Asked if Russia would try to influence the mid-term elections, he said: ”Of course. 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.”
He also said the Chinese posed a threat of equal concern, and were “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.”