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Saturday May 25th, 2019 5:29PM

The Latest: CIA defends meeting with Russian spy officials

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S. intelligence officials' meeting with top Russian spy officials:

12:30 p.m.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says there is nothing "untoward" about U.S. intelligence officials meeting with their Russian counterparts.

He's responding to criticism from Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader. Schumer said it was suspicious that two Russian spy chiefs under U.S. and European sanctions were allowed to visit with U.S. officials in Washington last week.

Pompeo said in a letter to Schumer that past administrations have met with Russian intelligence officials. He said topics include counterterrorism, aviation security and preventing foreign fighters from returning to both nations.

Schumer had said that the meeting was suspicious because it came just days before the Trump administration decided not to issue new sanctions against Russian politicians and oligarchs over Russian interference in the 2016 election.

___

8:20 a.m.

Democrats want to know why the Trump administration allowed two Russian spy chiefs under U.S. and European sanctions to meet last week in Washington with American intelligence officials.

Russia's U.S. ambassador says the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service was in the U.S. to discuss counterterrorism with his American counterparts. He was accompanied by the director of the top KGB successor agency known as the Federal Security Service.

That word comes from two U.S. officials who weren't authorized to disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The CIA won't confirm the meetings and says only that any interactions with foreign intelligence officials would have been conducted in accordance with U.S. law and in consultation with appropriate departments and agencies.

—Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann

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