Speed Reads

the russians are here

Report: Officials believe there's been an uptick in the number of Russian spies entering the U.S.

Since the 2016 presidential election, Russian spies have doubled their intelligence-gathering efforts in the United States, current and former U.S. officials told CNN.

"Russians have maintained an aggressive collection posture in the U.S., and their success in election meddling has not deterred them," a former senior intelligence official told CNN. Steve Hall, the retired CIA chief of operations, believes that because the Trump administration is so unpredictable, the Russians are likely trying to collect more information on the key players.

Current and former intelligence officials think there are close to 150 suspected intelligence operatives in the United States, CNN reports, and they are targeting Americans who can give them classified information while also trying to hack into government systems. Law enforcement agencies have seen an increase in the number of Russians believed to be intelligence officers coming to the United States, claiming they are in the country for business.

An official said the "concerning point with Russia is the volume of people that are coming to the U.S.," as they have "a lot more intelligence officers" in the United States compared to other countries. Last December, former President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats believed to be working as spies, in response to Russian meddling in the presidential election.