Trump struggles as furor grows over reported Russian bounty offer to kill U.S. troops

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  tessylo  •  2 weeks ago  •  40 comments

Trump struggles as furor grows over reported Russian bounty offer to kill U.S. troops

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Politics

Trump struggles as furor grows over reported Russian bounty offer to kill U.S. troops





Laura King


f6e47060-4932-11ea-a7fe-c762a271bf55 June 28, 2020, 3:34 PM EDT








President Trump, confronted with a damaging report that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and allied troops in Afghanistan, declared Sunday on Twitter that he was   never briefed   about the finding by U.S. intelligence.

Democrats including Trump’s prospective presidential rival,   Joe Biden,   and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply criticized Trump’s seeming indifference to the explosive report in Friday’s New York Times. Neither Trump nor other administration officials have specifically denied the report, which has since been confirmed by several other news organizations.

On Sunday, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming joined in the criticism, saying that if the information was genuine, the White House   needed to explain   why Trump was not told, and why the administration has done nothing in response.

The   core of the story   is that U.S. spy agencies concluded several months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit had offered secret bounties for attacks on coalition troops. The matter was discussed in late March by the National Security Council, and European allies including Britain were also made aware of the findings, the story said. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the first word of the Russian plan came as early as January from military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan.


The reports hit the White House at an already troubled juncture. Multiple national polls  show Biden outpacing Trump, and the president and his team have struggled to craft a coherent message amid a drumbeat of bad news: a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases that now exceed 2.5 million, the resulting economic carnage and the fallout from massive racial-justice protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.


Sunday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped run Trump’s 2016 campaign, said on ABC’s “This Week” that "he will lose" his reelection bid “if he doesn’t change course, both in terms of the substance of what he is discussing and the way that he approaches the American people.”

So far, the White House response to the story has not been to lay out any response to Russia, but simply to insist that Trump had not been personally briefed.

The office of Trump’s handpicked director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe — who has been in his post for only a month, and was a controversial choice because of his   lack of relevant experience   and his avid partisanship as a congressman from Texas — released a statement late Saturday saying that neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence was “ever briefed on any intelligence” described in the story.

But intelligence experts suggested that the White House defense appeared to be largely a semantic one, perhaps resting on the material being included in the written daily intelligence brief that the president is known to avoid reading, rather than presented to him orally.

David Priess, a former CIA analyst and intelligence briefer,   described several scenarios   under which Trump and those around him could have been made aware of the assessment. The striking part, he said in a Twitter posting, was that the White House had not addressed the substance of the report, nor publicly expressed determination to get to the bottom of it.

“Why hasn’t the commander in chief responded to such a grave development?” he asked.

Trump, who spent Sunday at his Virginia golf property, referred in a pair of tweets to the “so-called attacks on our troops,” attacked the report as “Fake News” and wrote that “nobody briefed me or told me.”

But while avoiding a direct denial of the report’s underlying assertions, the president seemed to suggest the information might not trouble him much even if true.

“There have not been many attacks on us,” he wrote.

At least nine U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year, and 20 last year, out of nearly 2,400 American military fatalities in the course of the long conflict.

Biden hit Trump on the issue Saturday, saying that if the report was true, Trump’s inaction represented “a betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.”

The former vice president described the episode as a continuation of Trump’s “embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself” before Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden, whose campaign is centered on virtual appearances because of the coronavirus pandemic, made his remarks at an online town hall.

Pelosi, interviewed Sunday on "This Week," said the Russian bounty report revived longstanding questions about Trump’s affinity for Putin, which date back to U.S. intelligence findings that Moscow interfered on his behalf in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has on many occasions gone out of his way to publicly defer to the Russian leader, and in recent weeks, he has pressed to restore Russia to the meetings of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, from which it was excluded after its invasion of Crimea in 2014.

“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score,” Pelosi said of the bounty report, suggesting that the president might be behaving under some sort of duress.

“I don’t know what the Russians have on the president — politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is,” said the San Francisco Democrat. “Now he is saying this is fake news – why would he say that? Why wouldn’t he say, ‘Let’s look into it and see what this is?’”

Cheney, writing on Twitter, said the White House needed to disclose “who did know and when?” about the intelligence assessment, and to detail “what has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable.”

Former national security advisor John Bolton, who was ousted from the White House last September, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump’s “fundamental focus” was not on national security, or protecting American troops.

“So what is the presidential reaction?” asked Bolton, author of a scathing White House memoir.

“It’s to say, ‘It’s not my responsibility. No one told me about it.’”





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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    2 weeks ago

President Trump, confronted with a damaging report that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and allied troops in Afghanistan, declared Sunday on Twitter that he was      never briefed      about the finding by U.S. intelligence.

Democrats including Trump’s prospective presidential rival,    Joe Biden,    and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply criticized Trump’s seeming indifference to the explosive report in Friday’s New York Times. Neither Trump nor other administration officials have specifically denied the report, which has since been confirmed by several other news organizations.

On Sunday, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming joined in the criticism, saying that if the information was genuine, the White House      needed to explain       why Trump was not told, and why the administration has done nothing in response.

The      core of the story       is that U.S. spy agencies concluded several months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit had offered secret bounties for attacks on coalition troops. The matter was discussed in late March by the National Security Council, and European allies including Britain were also made aware of the findings, the story said. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the first word of the Russian plan came as early as January from military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Tessylo @1    2 weeks ago

trumpski is required by putin to look the other way as a stipulation of his russian loan agreements and having the first lady's russian film collection dumped on pornhub before the election would be a bit .................... inconvenient.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago

not for me

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1.2  devangelical  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

lol

 
 
 
Gsquared
2  Gsquared    2 weeks ago

Donald Trump = The Enemy of the American People

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Claire McCaskill , former US senator now a television pundit, says this is a bigger scandal than Benghazi. Way bigger. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
3.1  Gsquared  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago

"Benghazi" was a Republican witch hunt.  The 4 American deaths there were terrible, and disgracefully used by the Republicans as propaganda.  This scandal is so damning to Trump it is off the charts.  

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4  Dismayed Patriot    2 weeks ago

Trump "declared Sunday on Twitter that he was never briefed about the finding by U.S. intelligence."

1lgjmp.jpg

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
4.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    2 weeks ago

why do i partially believe him...?

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5  Adam_Selene    2 weeks ago

Trump still thinks that Putin is his buddy  and that they have a "deal" probably involving dodgy financial deals. Trump really does not get it.

Putin did not work that hard to cover up interference in the 2016 elections. Chances are he didn't work that hard to cover up the bounties to the Taliban. He wants us to know. Any where there is a fault line in America, look for Putin's handy work at amplifying it.

Putin doesn't care that much about who wins American elections. He does care about encouraging strife among Americans and distrust in the election process -  to bring about Krushchev's  "prophesy" of destroying the American system of government.

  August 24, 1963, Khrushchev remarked in his speech in Yugoslavia , "I once said, 'We will bury you,' and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you,"
 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5.1  Adam_Selene  replied to  Adam_Selene @5    2 weeks ago

As an after thought - Putin is devious enough to not offer the bounties - just plant the rumors. Same effect on American politics with out paying out the money.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
5.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Adam_Selene @5.1    2 weeks ago

Putin = Rocket Surgeon   while Trump attempts to remove 'Wrenched Ankle' from his big mouth, as he wants to be Kinged for his checker past, as he's a pawn for Putins' bare chess as he rides whorses till the Russian Pro makes her mess, Chubby checkers vs International Mind Fck, what could possibly go a fowl besides Putins' testicalities bumping Trump's tonsilectomies ...   where is Trump's defenders of everything and all...   gotta see this shit show deflection infection slurpee straw man whataboutism projection from those screened in the sun room washing open windows that their tongues are stuck too

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Adam_Selene @5    2 weeks ago

It appears that tRump has made deals with the devil and now they are coming due 

 
 
 
JBB
5.2.1  JBB  replied to  Tessylo @5.2    2 weeks ago

I can't believe Beelzebub paid for Trump's soul.

It must have been really cheap...

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
5.2.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JBB @5.2.1    2 weeks ago
It must have been really cheap...

He got a good deal from two Corinthians...

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5.2.3  Adam_Selene  replied to  JBB @5.2.1    2 weeks ago

Trump is such a deal maker he probably ended up negotiating a big TRUMP sign over the gates of hell.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
5.2.4  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Adam_Selene @5.2.3    2 weeks ago

He'll bankrupt that too

 
 
 
Krishna
5.2.5  Krishna  replied to  Adam_Selene @5.2.3    2 weeks ago
Trump is such a deal maker he probably ended up negotiating a big TRUMP sign over the gates of hell.

He was probably hoping to build a hotel there.

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5.2.6  Adam_Selene  replied to  Krishna @5.2.5    2 weeks ago

He would have to have it air conditioned really well. (What's the boiling point of pee? Is it the same as water?)

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5.2.7  Adam_Selene  replied to  igknorantzrulz @5.2.4    2 weeks ago

Maybe Putin will get Deutche Bank to bail him out again.

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.2.8  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Krishna @5.2.5    2 weeks ago
"Trump is such a deal maker he probably ended up negotiating a big TRUMP sign over the gates of hell."
"He was probably hoping to build a hotel there."

giphy.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.2.9  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Adam_Selene @5.2.7    2 weeks ago

I think that's why the turd in chief is so desperate - he's called in all his markers 

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.2.10  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @5.2.1    2 weeks ago

I love this clip.

He sold his soul to the devil - he wasn't using it

 
 
 
1stwarrior
5.3  1stwarrior  replied to  Adam_Selene @5    2 weeks ago

You're obviously a great fan of "Outer Limits".

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5.3.1  Adam_Selene  replied to  1stwarrior @5.3    2 weeks ago

There was a time - but I'm kind of a Heinlein sorta guy.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  Adam_Selene @5    2 weeks ago

But I don't think it's the working class that will bury America. Right now, it's the rich and powerful who destroying America

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
5.4.1  Adam_Selene  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.4    2 weeks ago

I don't think we are going to bury ourselves but it would be Putin's little wet dream. The working class are supposed to be good little proletariat Marxist and revolt against the bourgeoisie capitalists in a glorious revolt establishing a workers paradise. I'm not seeing that but the ever growing disproportionate division of wealth is not sustainable. Something's gotta give.

Hi TG - long time since Newsvine.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.4.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Adam_Selene @5.4.1    2 weeks ago

It has been a long time. It's good to see you again. Hope you are well.

Well...I'm no Marxist because I do believe in healthy capitalism. What we've got right now is not healthy. What happens when the proles can no longer hold up the top?

 
 
 
JBB
6  JBB    2 weeks ago

If it was Obama or Hillary they'd already be impeached.

Oh, that is right, Trump has already been impeached...

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
7  Thrawn 31    2 weeks ago

Shit, Trump probably chipped in since we know he is jealous of people who actually serve. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7    2 weeks ago

i feel your pain, but i couldn't vote that one up. Every time U think there is NO FGKN WAY he could outdue this one, it's already outdone. WTF does it take for people to realize how frckd up it is, that they constantly defend EVERYTHING this treasonous piece of trash can     ,  do, and they over due again and again when will it be when, oh when ?

 
 
 
Adam_Selene
7.1.1  Adam_Selene  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.1    2 weeks ago

I've stopped being angry at Trump - he is truly mentally ill. For me, that takes care of the anger but it multiplies the fear of what he may do in the next seven months. My anger is for what  the Republican Party has become. For an explanation of his followers behavior - Google  "cults".

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.1.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Adam_Selene @7.1.1    2 weeks ago

no doubt mentally ill

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
8  Paula Bartholomew    2 weeks ago

Even if there was no bounty, wth is Trump doing brokering an oil deal FOR RUSSIA?!?!?

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
8.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8    2 weeks ago

possibly monetarily incentivized , as that is all he is

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
8.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  igknorantzrulz @8.1    2 weeks ago

True.  With the famous ignoramus it is about the money.

 
 
 
Kavika
9  Kavika     2 weeks ago

There was a written report so it's possible he didn't receive it since he can't read. 

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
10  Jeremy Retired in NC    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Krishna
11  Krishna    2 weeks ago

If its such a secret-- then how come you know about it?

What makes you so special that you have access to government secrets that no one else does?

And if its top secret-- aren't you worried that by posting it on an Internet site you might be liable to persecution for posting state secrets?

(Or..maybe...it isn't really a secret after all...and that you are posting "Fake News?)

 
 
 
It Is ME
12  It Is ME    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
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