US National Intelligence Head Defends Counterterrorism Cooperation With Russia
AFP 2018/ MANDEL NGANUS11:40 21.02.2018Get short URL
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Director of US National Intelligence Dan Coats said that the United States was working with Russia to gather intelligence on counterterrorism in an effort to ensure global security, even though Washington considered Moscow an opponent and disagreed with its policy in other areas.
“While the U.S. IC [intelligence community] has maintained communications with Russian intelligence on counterterrorism in an effort to help ensure the safety of our citizens around the globe, rest assured that I and the entire IC fully recognize that Russia remains an adversary in many areas, including its ongoing influence campaigns that seek to sow dissent and undermine faith in democratic institutions,” Coats wrote in a letter to Schumer, as quoted by Yahoo News on Wednesday.
Coats added that Russia was well aware of Washington’s position on Moscow’s alleged meddling in US elections.
“We are never shy about discussing areas of disagreement in these engagements, and I assure you that our Russian counterparts are fully aware of our views regarding their inappropriate activities in the 2016 election,” he stressed.
Last month, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer questioned Coats’s meetings with Russian security service officials in the presence of anti-Russian sanctions.
However, CIA Director Mike Pompeo defended the meetings, saying such cooperation was critical to national security.
READ MORE: US House Intel Committee Votes to Release Democratic Russia Investigation Memo
The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in its 2016 presidential election and is investigating the campaign team of now President Donald Trump and its alleged links to the Kremlin. Both, the Trump administration as well the Russian authorities have denied the allegations.