Moscow loves to “stick it to Amer­ica”

In Aspen, CIA chief says re­la­tion­ship with Rus­sia is com­pli­cated.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Deb Riechmann

ASPEN» CIA Di­rec­tor Mike Pom­peo said Thurs­day that Rus­sia is in­ter­ested in stay­ing in Syria, partly be­cause they “love to stick it to Amer­ica.”

Asked if Rus­sia is Amer­ica’s friend or ad­ver­sary, Pom­peo replied: “It’s com­pli­cated.” He said he’s happy to work with Moscow on coun­tert­er­ror­ism is­sues, but that it’s clear that Rus­sians “find any­place they can to make our lives more dif­fi­cult.”

Pom­peo spoke at the As- pen Se­cu­rity Fo­rum, an an­nual gather­ing of in­tel­li­gence and na­tional se­cu­rity of­fi­cials and ex­perts.

Pom­peo also said Iran’s work to gain a foothold in Syria is only one ex­am­ple of its aim to become the “king­pin” of the Mid­dle East.

He also said that he be­lieves Wik­iLeaks will “take down Amer­ica any way it can.”

Wik­iLeaks is happy to work with Rus­sia, China, Iran — or even young Amer­i­can stu­dents at U.S. col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, Pom­peo said, adding that on its web­site, the anti-pri­vacy group urges stu­dents to become a CIA in­tern so they can become whistle­blow­ers.

In a wide-rang­ing con­ver­sa­tion at the fo­rum, Pom­peo ac­knowl­edged that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial campaign that he loved Wik­iLeaks. “I don’t love Wik­iLeaks,” Pom­peo said.

Be­sides Ed­ward Snow­den, a for­mer Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency con­trac­tor who leaked doc­u­ments re­veal­ing ex­ten­sive U.S. govern­ment sur­veil­lance, Wik­iLeaks has re­leased nearly 8,000 doc­u­ments that it says re­veal se­crets about the CIA’s cy­beres­pi­onage tools for break­ing into com­put­ers. Wik­iLeaks pre­vi­ously pub­lished 250,000 State De­part­ment ca­bles and em­bar­rassed the U.S. mil­i­tary with hun­dreds of thou­sands of logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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