Kayleigh McEnany: Congress will be briefed on alleged Russian bounties

5 months ago 30
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June 29 (UPI) -- White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that Congress will be briefed on a report that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported Sunday that President Donald Trump was told in late March about Russia paying bounties to Taliban fighters for U.S. troop kills. The report said Trump was briefed on the incident but did not act on it.

McEnany said Trump was never briefed, suggesting the information was never verified. There has been a bipartisan call for an explanation. She said Congress would be briefed on the information Monday.

"There will be a briefing today," McEnany told Fox News Monday. "I think it will clear up a lot of the false reporting from The New York Times. The president has made clear that he's never been briefed."

"Intelligence, we don't comment on it routinely but just so you know how it works, it is vetted for its veracity and it only goes to the president and the high-level officials when it is deemed as verifiable and credible," she said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the entire body to be briefed on the incident.

"The questions that arise are: was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed. Congress and the country need answers now," Pelosi wrote in her letter to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel.

"I, therefore, request an interagency brief for all House Members immediately. Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable," Pelosi said.

Trump on Sunday denied he was informed about such a bounty by the Russians.

"Nobody briefed or told me, [Vice President] Pence or Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an 'anonymous source' by the Fake News [New York Times]. Everybody is denying it and there have not been many attacks on us," Trump said.

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