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Chiefs of Three Russian Intelligence Agencies Travel to Washington

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By Mike Eckel, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

01 February 18

The directors of Russia’s three main intelligence and espionage agencies all traveled to the U.S. capital in recent days, in what observers said was a highly unusual occurrence coming at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions.

Russia’s ambassador to the United States had earlier confirmed that Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the foreign intelligence service SVR, was in Washington in recent days to meet with U.S. officials about terrorism and other matters.

But the presence of the two other chiefs — Aleksandr Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service, or FSB; and Lieutenant General Igor Korobov, chief of Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU — was not previously known.

The Washington Post said January 31 that Bortnikov and Korobov came to the U.S. capital last week, and that Bortnikov had met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, as did Naryshkin.

It wasn’t clear whom Korobov may have met with.

The visits came also just days before President Donald Trump’s administration announced new actions against Russia, in compliance with a law passed overwhelmingly by Congress last summer. But the measures taken late 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.

In a radio interview in Moscow on January 30, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, said Pompeo had indeed met with Russian spy officials, but he did not say where the meeting occurred or say specifically who attended.

"Just in the last week, he has had probably the most important meetings on counterterrorism that we’ve had in a very, very long time, at the senior levels," Huntsman told Ekho Moskvy radiо.

A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A CIA spokesperson declined to give details of Pompeo’s meetings.

“While we do not discuss the schedules of U.S. intelligence leaders, rest assured that any interaction with foreign intelligence agencies would have been conducted in accordance with U.S. law and in consultation with appropriate departments and agencies,” the official said in an email to RFE/RL, on condition of anonymity.

Pompeo recently said in a January 29 interview with the BBC that U.S. and Russian spy agencies had cooperated, but he told the BBC that Russia is still considered an adversary.

"I haven’t seen a significant decrease in their activity," he said.

CIA directors regularly meet and hold talks with their Russian counterparts on a variety of issues. But veteran and retired U.S. intelligence officers said the presence of all three Russian officials in Washington at the same time, and at a time of intense scrutiny over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, is highly unusual.

“I can’t recall any time in the last 15 years” that all three Russian agency chiefs were in the U.S. capital at the same time, Steven Hall, a former CIA station chief in Moscow, told RFE/RL. “It’s highly unusual.”

During his tenure, Hall said, it was always a big deal, politically and logistically, whenever a senior Russian intelligence officer got in to see an American counterpart, giving Moscow a way, he said, to assert they were on equal footing with the United States.

The Russians “consider it a big political win if they can do it. There is certainly a political perspective,” Hall said. “So it’s particularly strange under these circumstances that we would want to give them something like that.”

“Given the political conditions in the United States now, it’s flabbergasting to be honest. I can’t imagine who would have signed off on that,” he said.

U.S. intelligence agencies have accused the FSB — considered Russia’s main domestic intelligence agency — and the GRU — the Russian military’s intelligence arm — of being behind the cyberhacks of U.S. political parties and activists.

A U.S. intelligence assessment released in January 2017 said the two oversaw a hacking-and-propaganda campaign to sway the 2016 election campaign.

The SVR, meanwhile, was linked by U.S. law enforcement to a ring of “deep cover” agents who were living in the United States and arrested and deported in 2010. An SVR officer posing as an attaché at the Russian mission to the United Nations was also linked to an effort to recruit Carter Page, a former Moscow-based investment banker who was later an official in Donald Trump’s election campaign.

Naryshkin’s trip to the United States raised concerns among some U.S. senators.

The chamber’s Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, pointed out that Naryshkin had been hit with a travel ban by the United States in 2014 in connection with Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.


http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/48231-chiefs-of-three-russian-intelligence-agencies-travel-to-washington

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Floridatexan wrote:
By Mike Eckel, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

01 February 18

....
“Given the political conditions in the United States now, it’s flabbergasting to be honest. I can’t imagine who would have signed off on that,” he said.  ....
.....

Well, I might be flabbergasted too ... but seeing as how we have elected a reality TV show star/used car salesman as President, I suppose I should be used to it by now.

I can assure you all of one thing .... approval for this came right from the top. Nobody in State Dept right now would stick their neck out like that.

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EmeraldGhost wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
By Mike Eckel, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

01 February 18

....
“Given the political conditions in the United States now, it’s flabbergasting to be honest. I can’t imagine who would have signed off on that,” he said.  ....
.....

Well, I might be flabbergasted too ... but seeing as how we have elected a reality TV show star/used car salesman as President, I suppose I should be used to it by now.

I can assure you all of one thing .... approval for this came right from the top. Nobody in State Dept right now would stick their neck out like that.

Is there anyone left at the State Dept. except Tillerson?

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Floridatexan wrote:Is there anyone left at the State Dept. except Tillerson?

Valid question; the ranks at State have been so thoroughly decimated that it's nothing short of appalling (not to mention unsettling as hell).

As for the high-ranking Russian espionage agents' visit (which Maddow reported on several nights back as having initially been picked up by Reuters, reading Russian language communications), I have to admit the first word that jumped into mind was "blackmail."    

In any event I'm glad Reuters (and/or whoever else) reported the find, else, disturbingly enough, we'd never have known about it.   But what can we do with the knowledge, and how do we learn what transpired?? Our "transparent" (HA!) White House certainly isn't talking.  Doubtless Mueller et al noticed, but aside from that, what??  

We're just screwed.   Life in this nation gets more frightening with every passing day and every insidious act of our pseudo-Fuhrer president.

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Floridatexan wrote: ....

Is there anyone left at the State Dept. except Tillerson?

Don't know, but I sent my resume in to the White House for a political appointment at State, Homeland Security, or DOJ.   (Not that I'm looking for a job really)   Haven't heard back yet ... don't expect to.   Maybe when Hope Hicks leaves there'll be an opening for me? Laughing

https://apply.whitehouse.gov/





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Circling the wagons. Mueller is getting close.

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panhandler wrote:Circling the wagons.  Mueller is getting close.

Supposition, yes? Can only hope you're right.

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RealLindaL wrote:  Can only hope you're right.

Why? What do you think can possibly happen?

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panhandler wrote:Circling the wagons.  Mueller is getting close.



Laughing Laughing Laughing





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Deus X wrote:
RealLindaL wrote:  Can only hope you're right.

Why? What do you think can possibly happen?

Even if there's no indictment or impeachment, seems to me it'd be helpful for the people of this nation to see hard evidence that Trump and company are the bunch of self-interested, scheming sleazebags I happen to believe they are, and that their entanglement with Russia is real and dangerous -- definitely not in the best interests of the USA.  I'm talking about evidence that even Trump's most ardent admirers would have a hard time ignoring unless they're cut from exactly the same cloth (which, unfortunately, is possibly true of many of them).  People just need to know once and for all that electing individuals like Trump is absolutely the wrong direction for this country, whether or not there may appear to be some economic gain in it for the voter, temporary or otherwise.

You have a different take?  Please tell us, by all means.

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RealLindaL wrote:
Even if there's no indictment or impeachment, seems to me it'd be helpful for the people of this nation to see hard evidence that Trump and company are the bunch of self-interested, scheming sleazebags I happen to believe they are, and that their entanglement with Russia is real and dangerous -- definitely not in the best interests of the USA.  I'm talking about evidence that even Trump's most ardent admirers would have a hard time ignoring unless they're cut from exactly the same cloth (which, unfortunately, is possibly true of many of them).  People just need to know once and for all that electing individuals like Trump is absolutely the wrong direction for this country, whether or not there may appear to be some economic gain in it for the voter, temporary or otherwise.

You have a different take?  Please tell us, by all means.

I don't think he'll be forced from office. I do think his popularity will continue to go up as it just did in the most recent polls. His base is so emotionally contorted they will write off anything that comes out of Mueller's investigation. It might even invigorate them.

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Deus X wrote:I don't think he'll be forced from office. I do think his popularity will continue to go up as it just did in the most recent polls. His base is so emotionally contorted they will write off anything that comes out of Mueller's investigation. It might even invigorate them.

Well, that's depressing as hell, of course, though it's certainly a believable scenario. Trump's base represents the worst of America, and doubtless they've enjoyed being empowered to crawl out from their dank cellars into the light of day, much to the continuing shock and disbelief of the rest of us.

This is not the greatest time to live in the U.S.A., even though there's no place else I can think of I'd rather be.

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RealLindaL wrote: Trump's base represents the worst of America, and doubtless they've enjoyed being empowered to crawl out from their dank cellars into the light of day, much to the continuing shock and disbelief of the rest of us.
 

Most of them are just people--blue-collar, hard working people--who've been getting screwed by the 1% and don't know who to blame. None of them could relate to Hillary in any visceral way.

Granted, a fraction of them are disturbed assholes but not the majority. Until the left can find a way to connect with the ordinary blue-collar guys, things will get worse.

My feeling is that Bernie was the first leftie to be able to connect with them on their level. Obama gave a lot of them hope--he got almost 53% of the popular vote in '08--but didn't change things. He still managed to get re-elected but he was basically a dud.

Until the left, the Democratic party, more-or-less, can put up a skilled, professional politician who knows how to connect with blue-collar America and to get things done in DC, we're screwed.

Don't get me wrong, I was a big Obama supporter. The day of his inauguration, I sat there watching TV and getting a little misty, but when he started putting Wall Street guys in his cabinet, I knew the left had been screwed again. I'm afraid that the Democratic party has been captured by Wall Street, Big Pharma, Big Ag and the rest of the corporate klepto-goliaths for awhile.

My only hope is that their naked greed and brazen avarice will fuck things up again like '29 and '08 and then maybe we'll have another shot at the brass ring. Things are going to have to get worse, a lot worse, before they get better.

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RealLindaL wrote:
Deus X wrote:I don't think he'll be forced from office. I do think his popularity will continue to go up as it just did in the most recent polls. His base is so emotionally contorted they will write off anything that comes out of Mueller's investigation. It might even invigorate them.

Well, that's depressing as hell, of course, though it's certainly a believable scenario.  Trump's base represents the worst of America, and doubtless they've enjoyed being empowered to crawl out from their dank cellars into the light of day, much to the continuing shock and disbelief of the rest of us.

This is not the greatest time to live in the U.S.A., even though there's no place else I can think of I'd rather be.  

Linda, I'm curious about your last statement above. Why is there no place you can think of where you'd rather be? As for myself, I've lived in places that were nicer, less conflictive, and a lot more satisfying. I choose to live here because I care for and respect my fellow Americans -- our people. I hate the complete dysfunction of our current two-party system and I'm doing all I can as a historian and writer to bring back what was a fair and just system. Screw the current batch of Democrats and Republicans!

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RealLindaL wrote:

Even if there's no indictment or impeachment, seems to me it'd be helpful for the people of this nation to see hard evidence that Trump and company are the bunch of self-interested, scheming sleazebags I happen to believe they are, and that their entanglement with Russia is real and dangerous -- definitely not in the best interests of the USA.  I'm talking about evidence that even Trump's most ardent admirers would have a hard time ignoring unless they're cut from exactly the same cloth (which, unfortunately, is possibly true of many of them).  People just need to know once and for all that electing individuals like Trump is absolutely the wrong direction for this country, whether or not there may appear to be some economic gain in it for the voter, temporary or otherwise.

You have a different take?  Please tell us, by all means.

He was all that before the election and a leopard can't change it's spots. Wink

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