18:50 GMT +319 October 2018
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    Mike Pompeo

    CIA Chief Says Russia's Meddled in US Elections 'for Decades', Gets Trolled

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    Mike Pompeo's shocking claim has provoked a stream of sarcastic commentary among Russian social media users, who jokingly asked what the mighty US intelligence agency has been up to all this time if it couldn’t notice Russian meddling over such a long period.

    Asked on Face the Nation Sunday whether Moscow was going to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections, Pompeo said the answer was yes, and that Russia has been doing so "for decades."

    "I continue to be concerned, not only about the Russians, but about others' efforts as well," the US chief spook added. "We have many foes who want to undermine Western democracy," he stressed.

    The CIA chief's 'revelation' was news to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote that Pompeo seems to have become 'entangled in his own lies.' "It would be interesting to known exactly how many decades ago Russia 'started' this dirty business?" she noted. The spokeswoman recalled that prior to Trump, not a single news story, film or speech had been made featuring these unfounded accusations about Russian interference in the US electoral process.

    RT and Sputnik editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan offered an even more scathing response, noting that these 'decades of interference' claims were coming from the same people that said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "You can continue to believe in Russian interference in the American elections. And in five year's you'll find out that it didn't happen," she quipped. 

    Pompeo's claims also fired up social media, particularly in Russia, where memories of direct US meddling in Russia's elections in the 1990s are still fresh in many people's minds. The US never even attempted to hide their blatant interference back then, and Hollywood released a 'light-hearted comedy' picture on the subject in the early 2000s starring Jeff Goldblum called 'Spinning Boris'.

    Russian social media viciously trolled Pompeo for all was worth:

    "Pasta Mike is right. Beginning in 2000, Russia insolently interfered in the elections of the president of the Russian Federation, conducted by the USA in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Now it's planning to meddle again. For shame!"

    "CIA: 'Russia has meddled in US elections for decades.' But America has never meddled anytime or anywhere, and is a good little dear! Do they think we're idiots or what?"

    "Mike is being modest. We've really been meddling in US elections since the time of Ivan Kalita. What? There was no US back then? This is a lie invented by the Kremlin. 100% fact."

    "That people who have organized color revolutions in other countries have the arrogance to talk about this subject at all…"

    "Just how pathetic these once-proud Yankees have become! Before, under Reagan, and I won't even mention Kennedy, it was impossible to even imagine that the US could complain that someone had tried to intrude on the results of their elections. Now this 'exceptional' nation just can't shup up about it!"

    "How ineffective we must be. We interfere and interfere 'for decades', but relations just get worse and worse…"

    "So the CIA spends the money of American taxpayers, a lot of it, has resident agents across the globe, and is completely helpless in its own country. How can this be."

    "That means we meddled in the elections of Barack Obama too then."

    This isn't the first time Pompeo has used the word 'decades' to describe the so-called Russian threat. Last year, the CIA chief called Russian soft power instruments including media like RT and Sputnik "a decades-old challenge for America," and stressed that the US needs to "push back" and "defeat" this challenge.

    US President Bill Clinton (R) laughing with Russian President Boris Yeltsin during a press conference after their meeting at Hyde Park 23 October 1995
    © AFP 2018 / DON EMMERT
    US President Bill Clinton (R) laughing with Russian President Boris Yeltsin during a press conference after their meeting at Hyde Park 23 October 1995

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    social media reactions, meddling, interference, Mike Pompeo, United States, Russia
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