CIA Director Mike Pompeo still believes Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee, the agency said Tuesday amid reports that Pompeo met a skeptic at President Trump’s urging. William Binney, who worked more than three decades at the National Security Agency before stepping down as technical director in 2001, met with Pompeo on Oct. 24 to discuss a July report he co-authored suggesting DNC emails were leaked, rather than hacked. “I thought it was a pretty good hourlong meeting,” Binney told the Washington Examiner. “He said that the president said I should talk to you for facts.” Binney believes U.S. spy agencies “took a wild ass guess” in January when they blamed Russia for hacking the DNC and that “if they had any evidence, they would show it.” The report he co-authored says download speeds make it likely someone leaked DNC files after downloading them locally, rather than hacked them over the internet.
“He just wanted to know the facts that we could explain to him,” Binney said about the meeting. “It seemed to me that was his entire objective. In other words, he wasn’t getting the facts from the intelligence agencies.”
Pompeo, however, was unswayed. “The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement.
Boyd declined to confirm that the meeting happened, but the Intercept, which first reported it, cited an unnamed official confirming that it happened at Trump’s request.