Pelosi, Democrats target Trump over Russian bounty intelligence

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said Sunday that President Donald Trump “wants to ignore any accusation against Russia,” since he and his administration deny receiving intelligence information that the Russians have offered to pay rewards to Taliban fighters who kill Americans.

Speaking to ABC “This Week,” Pelosi said, “This is as bad as it sounds.”

“And yet the president will not confront the Russians in this regard, he denies having been informed,” Pelosi said. “Whether it is or not, your administration knows it and our allies. Some of our allies working with us in Afghanistan were informed and accepted this report.”

“As I said to the president: with him all roads lead to Putin,” he added. “I don’t know what the Russians have about the president, politically, personally, financially or whatever, but he wants to ignore it, he wants to bring them back to the G8 despite the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine, despite what he they delivered in Syria, despite their intervention in our elections, which is well documented by our intelligence community, and despite now possibly this accusation, about which we should have been informed. “

The United States has gathered information on Russian rewards offers, three people briefed on the matter told NBC News. The New York Times was the first to report the intelligence, and other media have also confirmed it.

That intelligence has been shared with leaders of Congress and the British government, the sources said. Meanwhile, a senior defense official said there was no evidence that any rewards were paid. An intelligence official told NBC News that the report is not surprising given the history between the United States and Russia. Afghan armed fighters from the US took over the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

In the Times report, Trump was said to have received intelligence. He and several administration officials have denied having been informed about it.

On Sunday, Trump asked the Times to “reveal” the origin of the story. He tweeted that “no one informed or told me,” Vice President Mike Pence or White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on intelligence.

“Everyone denies it and there have not been many attacks on us,” he wrote, adding that “no one” has been tougher on Russia than his administration.

In a statement Saturday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president and senior officials were not “informed about alleged Russian generosity intelligence.”

“This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story that erroneously suggests that President Trump was informed on this matter,” he said.

Pointing to McEnany’s statement, Susan Rice, who served as national security adviser under former President Barack Obama, tweeted that she does not “believe this for a minute, but if it were true, it means that Trump does not even pretend to be the commander in chief. ” boss.”

“And no one around him has the guts to ask him to do it,” he said. “More evidence of his deadly incompetence.”

On Sunday, Pelosi signaled Russia’s former disdain for its war efforts in Afghanistan in the 1980s and now they are trying to get even with “us, our troops.”

“This is totally outrageous,” he said. “You would think that the moment the president found out, he would want to know more rather than deny that he knew anything.”

“Now, yes indeed, we will find out that you have reported and it was in your daily report, but if not, what does that say about the concern of those who reported to the president about not approaching Russia? Problem with this president?” she added.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, DN.Y., a senior member of the Senate Subcommittee on Military Personnel for Armed Services, called for an investigation by Congress into the alleged Russian reward scheme.

“I believe that when we ask our service members and their families to take risks and make sacrifices for the United States, we understand that we will do everything we can to mitigate those risks and honor those sacrifices,” he said in a statement. statement. “President Trump appears to have completely failed to keep his end of the bargain. Through thorough investigation, oversight, and accountability, we can still keep ours.”

House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, said in a tweet. “If the reports are true that Russia offered a reward for the US troops in Afghanistan and Trump was not informed, that is a problem.”

“If he was informed and still wanted Russia to return to the G-8, it is even worse,” he added. “What will it take for Trump to abandon the fiction that Putin is our friend?”

It wasn’t just Democrats that alarmed the report. House Republican Conference Speaker Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyo., Tweeted that if “reporting on Russian rewards on US forces is true, the White House must explain who knows what and when.”

Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, said the United States “must be cautious” about intelligence, adding that he “could never” remember ” a circumstance in which the president himself abandons his government. ” way of saying that you were not informed about something. “

Bolton, who recently released a very critical book about the president and his time in the White House titled “The Room Where It Happened,” told CNN’s “State of the Union” that if true, this reward scheme is one of the more serious matters. I think that has come up in the Trump administration. “

“So what is the presidential reaction?” Bolton said of Trump’s tweets. “That is to say ‘it is not my responsibility, nobody told me’ and, therefore, avoid any complaint that he has not acted effectively.”

“This is part of the problem with President Trump’s decision-making in the national security space,” Bolton added. “It just isn’t related to the reality that he’s dealing with. It’s about his personal position.”

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