The Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo on Saturday stood by the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, despite President Trump’s suggestion that he believes President Vladimir Putin’s denials.
“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 Saturday when asked for reaction to the president’s remarks. “The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.”
After brief meetings with Putin on the sidelines of an economic summit in Asia, president Trump told reporters that Putin vehemently denies interfering in the U.S. election and that, “He did not do what they are saying he did.”
“Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said. “But he says I didn’t do that. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA and National Security Agency under President George W. Bush, tweeted the CIA’s statement, and in a second tweet, wrote, “So my question is: which is the position of the US government? POTUS or CIA?” (“POTUS” refers to president of the United States.)