The meeting raised eyebrows for three reasons: It was announced by Russia's ambassador and reported on by the Soviet news agency TASS before it was reported by anyone in the usa; the main attendee was supposed to be barred from the country; and current and former us intelligence officials told the Post they can't remember so many Russian spy and security officials meeting with U.S.at once. Did any White House or National Security Council official meet with Naryshkin? The CIA director promised that the US would retaliate "in a way that is sufficiently robust" should Russian Federation interfere in this year's upcoming midterm elections. The CIA followed a multi-agency legal process to give access to Russian officials under sanctions, the official said.
However, the Russian influence also came into play over a decision to release a Republican memo claiming Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct in obtaining a search warrant against former Trump aide Carter Page, said Murphy. "It was Russian bots that were spinning out the hashtag 'Schumer shutdown, ' trying to help Trump politically win that fight, you would expect they will be aligned with them this fall".
Naryshkin met last week outside Washington with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Reuters reported.
Pompeo did not address whether the topic of Russian election interference was raised in these meetings, something which President Trump has sought to downplay but the Central Intelligence Agency director continues to mention as a threat.
"It is no accident the Russians announced this meeting", the United States official said.
But veteran and retired USA intelligence officers say 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 US presidential campaign, is highly unusual.
The joint visit represented an exceptionally high-level Russian intelligence presence in Washington, and even before Schumer's comments this week, some Democrats were suggesting privately that there was a connection between the visit and the Trump administration's decision on sanctions.
That said, Weiss adds that, "the Russian government clearly wants to portray the U.S. as being open to conducting business as usual ... which is both cheeky and presumptuous given how badly damaged the relationship is today". "So which other sanctioned Russian Federation intelligence agency figures has the Trump administration let into our country?"
"There's just a fundamental difference piled on top of the fact that the two countries' intelligence agencies are basically at war", Weiss said. "There is certainly a political perspective", Hall says.
"When those meetings take place, you and the American people should rest assured that we cover very hard subjects in which American and Russian interests do not align", Pompeo wrote to Schumer.
Pompeo said the meetings with the Russians - whom he did not identify - were also not easy. "We vigorously defend America in this enters and pull no punches - we never will".
"I can't recall any time in the last 15 years" that all three Russian agency chiefs were in the USA capital at the same time, Steven Hall, a former CIA station chief in Moscow, tells RFE/RL.
The Russians "consider it a big political win if they can do it".