"President Does Read": White House Says Trump Briefed On Russia Bounties

Clay Curtis
July 1, 2020

The United States should weigh new sanctions on Russia to deter its "malign" actions, a senior Democratic lawmaker said on Tuesday after a White House briefing on a reported Russian effort to pay the Taliban to kill USA soldiers in Afghanistan.

House Democrats, Joe Biden slam President Trump after White House briefing on Russian Federation bounties report; reaction on 'The Five'.

His report, based on unnamed sources with knowledge of hundreds of highly classified calls with foreign heads of state, echoes remarks made by former members of the Trump administration, including John Bolton, who served as national security adviser and said Mr Trump "remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House".

The New York Times separately reported that U.S. intelligence officials believe at least one American military death stemmed from the bounties, citing two officials briefed on the matter.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who led a group of Democrats to the White House briefing on Tuesday, said the briefing had not provided them with any new substantial information about the intelligence, reports Xinhua news agency.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told Fox News Radio Tuesday that it is unlikely Trump was briefed on the intelligence. Therefore, it must be assumed the intelligence regarding Russian activities is indeed true, until additional information is obtained suggesting otherwise. "If the intelligence leads to the conclusion that Russian Federation went beyond their normal goals of creating problems for the United States and actually put a bounty on USA troops and our allies, we should insist that Russian Federation be penalized not only by us, but by other countries that seek more freedom for the world", Blunt said in a statement. He is instead orally briefed two or three times a week by his intelligence officials.

"I stand with the President, the military, the intelligence community, and freedom-loving people", said Watkins, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement.

Erik Hendriks also said he was disappointed that no one from the Trump administration had yet reached out to his family to offer consolation or answers, but was careful to divorce his anger from politics.

"Looks like Trump administration kept this corroborating intel even from the Republican lawmakers briefed yesterday", NYU law Prof.

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But reports say the president received a written briefing earlier this year.

Smith also said he wants address how Trump and the White House responded to the information because there was "certainly enough there to pursue it further".

Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on June 30, 2020. Either Trump is so in love with Putin that he refuses to act on any negative information about him, or he's so in love with Putin that intelligence officials have concluded that sharing negative information about Russian Federation is wasted effort.

The official said Trump often complained about the information presented to him at the briefings, preferring to have potential solutions to national security threats offered to him rather than just the problems.

Twenty American troops died in Afghanistan in 2019, but the New York Times said it was not clear which deaths were under suspicion.

The Times said Tuesday that investigators are evaluating whether an April 2019 bombing that killed three U.S. Marines was part of the alleged scheme.

Three other US service members were wounded in the attack, along with an Afghan contractor.

The officials who spoke to the AP also said they were looking closely at insider attacks - sometimes called "green-on-blue" incidents - from 2019 to determine if they are also linked to Russian bounties. He said Tuesday that they are still working to have Pentagon personnel discuss it next week. The sources did not confirm Trump's assertions that intelligence agencies had somehow declared the reporting was not credible.

The GOP-led Senate has voted to approve bipartisan sanctions on Russian Federation on a number of occasions in Trump's presidency, together with as a direct response to its attempts to meddle in the 2016 USA election.

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