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Among those lawmakers of both parties on Capitol Hill angered by a report that Russian operatives paid Afghan insurgents bounties for targeting American troops is a House Democrat who is a former CIA officer and Defense Department official.
Even the most senior lawmakers said that they want briefings soon from the Defense Department and the intelligence community.
Donald Trump is claiming that he was never briefed on this intelligence.
Even Republicans who have been Trump’s staunchest backers like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo) want answers, including whether knowledge of the bounties was included in the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), the main presidential avenue for critical intelligence. However, Trump’s been known not to pay attention to the PDB.
If reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain:
1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the info in the PDB?
2. Who did know and when?
3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) June 28, 2020
“There is a whole range of things that we can do, but accountability is required. And we know with the Russians if you don’t push back on them–if you don’t set a boundary–they will keep pushing you and pushing you and pushing you,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich), who previously had stints at Defense and the CIA. “And from the beginning, this president has been so deeply reluctant to push back on the Russians. It defies understanding.
“I mean, just as a child of the Cold War, it’s hard to understand it. But this cannot go unanswered,” Slotkin added. “It sets a precedent we cannot let go, so there’s a range of options and he better get, like, right quick figuring out what he’s going to do.”
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