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Politics GOP Deny, Downplay Questions About Russian Bounty Scandal

04:05  01 july  2020
04:05  01 july  2020 Source:   thedailybeast.com

'I don't know what the Russians have on the president': Pelosi slams Trump over reported of bounty on US troops

  'I don't know what the Russians have on the president': Pelosi slams Trump over reported of bounty on US troops House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday denounced President Donald Trump's response to news reports that Russia placed a bounty on U.S. troops.On Friday, The New York Times reported Trump and the National Security Council had been briefed on an intelligence report that a clandestine Russian unit had offered rewards to Afghan militants who successfully attacked coalition and U.S. troops. On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to deny knowing about the report and to disparage the Times' reporting.

But the cognitive dissonance between those things proved increasingly difficult to square on Tuesday for members of the GOP after reporting in the New York Times detailed that Trump was briefed on a Russian effort to place bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The report said that Trump was given

If reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain: 1. Why weren’t the Expert wonders why GOP is not angry over Russian bounty scandal . Donald Trump is accused of not Donald Trump faces questions about Russian bounties on American soliders.

One of the few remaining areas of broad bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill has been a tough policy toward Russia— a topic that frequently creates a stark contrast to President Trump, who has maintained personally warm ties to its leader, Vladimir Putin, and has generally followed behind Congress on Russia counter-measures.

Ron Johnson wearing a suit and tie: REUTERS © Provided by The Daily Beast REUTERS

But the cognitive dissonance between those things proved increasingly difficult to square on Tuesday for members of the GOP after reporting in the New York Times detailed that Trump was briefed on a Russian effort to place bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The report said that Trump was given response options in March but had not decided on one, instead appearing to let the issue fade.

Russian bounty hunting: Trump's latest scandal

  Russian bounty hunting: Trump's latest scandal The unrelenting efforts to decapitate the intelligence community and replace skilled and objective analysts with people who will tell the White House what it wants to hear is now bearing its poisoned fruit. And, as equally innumerable episodes have shown, President Trump is constitutionally incapable of taking tough action against Russia. Virtually all of the sanctions and burdens imposed on the Russian government since 2017 have come from Congress, not the White House. Indeed, Trump's abiding admiration for Vladimir Putin is a well-established matter of record.

The Taliban have denied the allegations that they were paid by Russia to kill Americans in Afghanistan. The Associated Press has reported that Russia began paying the bounties back in early 2019, even as Khalilzad was trying to finalize the deal with the insurgent group to end

President Donald Trump's White House can never, ever, get its story straight on Russia . Reports that a Russian military intelligence agency put a bounty on the heads of US troops in Afghanistan launched the President's team into a new cycle of confusion

Senate Republicans, who have shown a willingness to break with the president on foreign policy and on Russia in particular, responded to the news on Tuesday with a range of responses—skepticism, brush-asides, diatribes against the media and leakers—but few seemed to treat the story as especially legitimate or worthy of all the fuss, or as a red flag regarding Trump’s posture toward Moscow.

“I think it's fairly safe to say that a lot of the information in the New York Times article was completely false,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a Trump ally who went to the White House on Tuesday morning for a briefing on the government’s intelligence surrounding the bounties. “Whether this should have been highlighted to the President, I certainly understand why it wasn’t. Listen, the president’s got a big job. He can't be made aware of every piece of unverified intelligence, okay?”

Trump dismisses Russian bounty allegations as a 'hoax'

  Trump dismisses Russian bounty allegations as a 'hoax' President Trump claimed early Wednesday that reports about suspected Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan were a "hoax" meant to damage him politically."The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party," Trump tweeted. "The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself. If the discredited @nytimes has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!"The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party. The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself.

The president denies knowledge of Russia ’s actions, or ever being briefed. Joy Reid is joined by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin who Donald Trump is accused of not confronting Russia at all after intelligence reports revealed to the White House in March that the Kremlin secretly offered

The president denies knowledge of Russia ’s actions, or ever being briefed. Joy Reid is joined by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin who Donald Trump is accused of not confronting Russia at all after intelligence reports revealed to the White House in March that the Kremlin secretly offered

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) went a step further. “I think it's pretty well documented that the article in The New York Times was written in a way to try to embarrass the Republicans in Congress, and I think it's pretty well documented that The New York Times hates Republicans,” he told reporters. “And so I'd rather wait, and get all the facts.”

On the other end of the GOP spectrum were other lawmakers who hadn’t yet seen the intelligence but acknowledged that, if the Russians actually were enticing Taliban soldiers to kill U.S. troops with bounties, it would in fact be a big deal. “If it happened, it’s very serious,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who added that it would certainly be warranted for Congress to consider additional sanctions.

A group of House Democrats arriving at the Capitol from a White House briefing on Tuesday might as well have come from another universe. “Nothing in the briefing we just received led me to believe it’s a hoax,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the number two House Democrat, referring to Trump’s own assertion on the intel. “There may be different judgments as to the level of credibility… there was no assertion that the information we had was a hoax.”

Pompeo pushes back on Russian bounty reports

  Pompeo pushes back on Russian bounty reports Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday accused journalists of spreading misinformation related to reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-backed fighters to kill U.S. service members in Afghanistan. © The Hill Pompeo pushes back on Russian bounty reports The secretary further refused to discuss what he knew of intelligence briefings about the bounties, saying such public discussions put American soldiers at risk. "A lot of what you said suggests knowledge that I don't think you actually have," Pompeo told one reporter who asked about the Russian bounties.

Intelligence on Russian bounty plot was included in the President's Daily Brief earlier this year, source says. If reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain: 1 The real scandal : We’ll likely never know the truth… Because the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in

The president denies knowledge of Russia ’s actions, or ever being briefed. Joy Reid is joined by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin who Donald Trump is accused of not confronting Russia at all after intelligence reports revealed to the White House in March that the Kremlin secretly offered

The discrepancy in those reactions figures to be a wrench in Congress’ ability to respond to what amounts to a shocking account of a Russian effort to target U.S. military personnel and one that would, in any other circumstance, likely prompt a severe and bipartisan response from Capitol Hill.

While Democratic leaders push for additional briefings and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) vows to investigate the matter, some Republicans threw cold water on the idea of picking up the thread at all.

“This is Democrats and the press. Again, the New York Times article, a lot of that is simply false—it’s a false leak, okay?” said Johnson, when asked by The Daily Beast if he wanted Congress to probe the intelligence further. “You're making a mountain out of a molehill here.”

Indeed, some Senate Republicans, echoing language from White House officials, cast the real problem from the Times story as leaking from the administration. “I think the reporting was absolutely inaccurate,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who went to the White House on Tuesday morning. Asked if she wanted to see Congress investigate further, Ernst responded, “I think we need to know where the leaks are coming from.”

Wesley Clark says Trump not serving in Vietnam 'might have been for the best' in light of Russian bounty reports

  Wesley Clark says Trump not serving in Vietnam 'might have been for the best' in light of Russian bounty reports Former U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said that President Trump dodging the draft during the Vietnam War “might have been for the best” in light of reports that he was aware of intelligence that Russia paid secret bounties to militants to kill US troops and failed to act. © Getty Images Wesley Clark says Trump not serving in Vietnam 'might have been for the best' in light of Russian bounty reports "President Trump receives well-deserved criticism for failing to serve his country in Vietnam," Clark, a highly-decorated general who served as the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO under President Clinton, wrote in an op-ed for USA T

Bolton personally briefed Trump on Russian bounties one year earlier than previously known: report. For those who have questions regarding any media outlets being posted on this subreddit, please click here to review our details as to whitelist and outlet criteria.

Leading Democrats demand action over Russia US military bounty scandal . House No. 2 Democrat, Steny Hoyer, said after a White House closed-door briefing earlier today that Democrats want a full congressional briefing on alleged Russian bounties on the heads of US troops serving in Afghanistan.

The GOP-led Senate has voted to approve bipartisan sanctions on Russia on several occasions in Trump’s presidency, including as a direct response to its efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election. In January 2019, 11 Senate Republicans broke with their party to vote with Democrats on a measure to block the Trump administration from easing sanctions on Russian companies linked to Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch and Putin ally. The measure didn’t reach the 60-vote threshold required to pass, but the message was sent.

Democrats said on Tuesday that placing bounties on U.S. soldiers would almost certainly justify a similar, if not tougher, response. Schiff said that Russia, as a starter, should not be invited back into the G7 group of leading economies due to this news. “We should be considering what sanctions are appropriate to further deter Russia's malign activities,” said Schiff, “not further ingratiating Russia into the community of civilized nations.”

On that score, the Senate GOP leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), agreed. Asked on Tuesday if Russia should be invited back into the G7, he responded “absolutely not.”

Range of opinion aside, it seems Congress will probe the Russia bounty intelligence, and any possible consequences, behind closed doors, at least for now. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for example, are slated to receive a private briefing from intelligence officials on the Russia bounty issue in the coming days.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is the acting chair of the panel, declined to comment on the specifics of the Times report, but told reporters it’s a “well established fact” that U.S. troops face threats from forces acting as proxies for other adversaries.

But, said Rubio, “I think almost every report on reported intelligence information is inaccurate, not because reporters are wrong, but because it misunderstands the purpose of intelligence products. There's a big difference between analysis and raw intelligence, and it's a point that I think is often missed.”

However, the senator added, “you’ve never had to convince me to sanction Vladimir Putin… there's no shortage of reasons why we should study more sanctions and more measures to punish 2016 and all over the world to this day.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Gang of Eight gets Russia bounty briefing amid confusion over Trump's role .
Intelligence community heads are set to brief top congressional leaders on Thursday about the reports that Russia has offered militants in Afghanistan bounties for killing American soldiers, the highest-level briefing for members of Congress on the matter so far. © Provided by FOX News Trump comments on Russian bounties intelligence in Fox Business interview; Kristin Fisher reports from the White House. The 11:30 a.m.

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