“Special Report” presenter and Fox News chief political presenter Bret Baier flatly asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday if Russia had “American blood on her hands in Afghanistan” after a New York Times report. last week that US intelligence had received information that Moscow had received information. offered rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing US soldiers, and President Trump received information about it.
“The United States has adequately responded to threats that have been presented to it in Afghanistan steadily during my entire three and a half years, first as CIA director and now as Secretary of State,” Pompeo replied to Baier’s question. “There are many people who use the Taliban or who have used the Taliban for years and years and years as power forces. Unfortunately, money has been channeled from around the world.”
“President Trump has taken this seriously. We hope that we will advance our peace and reconciliation plan and respond to any threat, whether the Iranians use the Taliban or the Russians …,” he added. “The Russians have been providing weapons to the Taliban for many years, so this is an ongoing challenge.”
MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE RUNS SUGGEST RUSSIA PAYING BOUNTIES FOR US TROOPS, NO TROUBLE PRESENT
The White House has insisted that Trump had not been briefed on reward intelligence, and the president called the Times report a “hoax.” On Monday, the White House insisted that “there is no consensus” that intelligence was accurate, so he said the problem was never brought up to President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
Baier pressured Pompeo why the president did not receive intelligence information.
“Every morning I get up and read the intelligence materials and when I read them, there are people around the world who are under threat, including my officers and embassies around the world. We don’t always make sure I get to president,” Pompeo replied. . “We do the right thing. We make sure the ambassador on the ground knows, that the commander on the ground knows, that our allies, who may also be threatened, know it. It is the tactical and operational response to keep our soldiers safe and secure. What is the most important.
“When the intelligence community feels that something is rising to a level that needs to reach the president, I am very sure that it will be presented to them constantly,” he continued.
Pompeo also criticized presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who criticized the president’s handling of the matter during a press conference earlier this week.
“Either read … or receive information on important issues and forget it or do not think it is necessary that you need to know,” Biden said Tuesday, adding that the president should have called “at least” the Russian president. Vladimir Putin on the report.
“There has been no administration that holds the Russians accountable the way it has. I just wish former Vice President Biden had held the Russians accountable. We would be cleaning up much less of a mess …” Pompeo said. “The failures of the previous administration allowed the Russians plenty of room to move. We have rejected. We have sanctioned more Russians than any other administration in history.”
“I will not leave anyone behind regarding what our administration and President Trump have done to hold Vladimir Putin responsible when he engages in evil activities,” the secretary continued. “And if we discover that there is evidence that he is endangering our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines anywhere in the world, including Afghanistan, I am very confident that President Trump will lead me, and he will respond appropriately. “
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Pompeo also addressed the leak itself that led to the report, saying he hoped the source would be found and “brought to justice.”
“I don’t know where this leak came from, but when periodicals report this information, it breaks my heart because it puts our intelligence officers and our military and women at risk,” he said. “It is dangerous. It is illegal. And I hope we can find out who did it and that they will be brought to justice.”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.