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Russian spy chief visited United States - Russian embassy

03 February 2018

In a January 2017 assessment, US intelligence agencies said the FSB, considered Russia's main domestic intelligence agency, and the GRU, the Russian military's intelligence arm, oversaw a hacking-and-propaganda campaign aimed at influencing the 2016 USA presidential election.

Also in Washington was the head of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence, according to the Washington Post.

Pompeo met with Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR, and Alexander Bortnikov, who runs the FSB, which is the main successor to the Soviet-era security service the KGB.

But current and former US intelligence officials said they couldn't recall so many heads of Russia's espionage and security apparatus coming to Washington at once and meeting with a top American official.

USA intelligence officials periodically meet their Russian counterparts to ensure US security and have done so under previous administrations, Pompeo added.

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"The director of Russia's foreign intelligence, Sergey Naryshkin, has visited the United States for consultations with US counterparts on the struggle against terrorism", Russia's embassy in the USA wrote in a Tweet on Tuesday, citing Ambassador Anatoly Antonov.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer in a letter on Tuesday called on intelligence leaders to explain these meetings given their own assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Naryshkin's trip to the United States raised concerns among some US senators.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that the administration "immediately come clean and answer questions-which US officials did he [Naryshkin] meet with?"

"Given the political conditions in the United States now, it's flabbergasting to be honest".

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CAATSA - or the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act - is a law signed by Trump in August that imposed sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a frequent critic of Trump's treatment of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government, said the timing of the trip was suspicious. The White House did release a list of Russian oligarchs potentially subject to sanctions on Tuesday, but it was criticized as sloppy and cobbled together from sources such as Forbes magazine.

The administration's dealings with Moscow remains a focal point as Justice Department independent counsel Robert S. Mueller's probe pursues allegations that Trump campaign officials colluded with to tamper in the election. Other U.S. agencies might need to speak with officials from an enemy nation.

But the measures taken late on January 29 by the State and Treasury departments were met with disbelief by many observers, who expected asset freezes, travel bans, and other sanctions to be imposed, none of which happened. The officials were not authorized to disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Murphy said he's concerned about the continuing influence as well and warned that Russians are aligned "temporarily" with Republicans "because they think it suits their interests.because Trump is taking America off the playing field in parts of the world in which Russia wants to exert influence".

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The intelligence community has been actively trying to suppress and deter Russian Federation. "I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity", he said.

Russian spy chief visited United States - Russian embassy