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Russia Has Reportedly Increased Its Spying Efforts in US Following Election

According to a new report out from CNN tonight, the United State’s tepid response to their election meddling during the last election has encouraged Russian spies to increase their American intelligence-gathering in recent months.

Per current and former intelligence officials, their belief is that Russia has ramped up their spying efforts largely due to the success it experienced last year and because the neither the Obama nor Trump administrations truly retaliated for the election interference. They added that because President Donald Trump is still a new leader and unpredictable, Russia will want to gather new information on him and his administration.

It was also noted that Russia has more operatives located in the US than any other country:

Since the November election, US intelligence and law enforcement agencies have detected an increase in suspected Russian intelligence officers entering the US under the guise of other business, according to multiple current and former senior US intelligence officials. The Russians are believed to now have nearly 150 suspected intelligence operatives in the US, these sources said. Officials who spoke to CNN say the Russians are replenishing their ranks after the US in December expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying in retaliation for election-meddling.

“The concerning point with Russia is the volume of people that are coming to the US. They have a lot more intelligence officers in the US” compared to what they have in other countries, one of the former intelligence officials says.

This report comes on the eve of Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Germany. While Trump delivered a tough-sounding speech today in which he criticized Russia and reaffirmed America’s commitment to NATO, he also hedged on whether Russia was fully responsible for hacking in the election, stating others could have been involved.

Watch the report above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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