House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel this week, asking for a Congressional briefing on reports that the Russians placed bounties on American and British soldiers in the Middle East.
In her letter, Pelosi wrote, “Press reports alleged that, according to American intelligence officials, Russian military intelligence secretly offered Taliban-connected militants bounties for killing American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.”
She continued, “Press reports also state that the White House National Security Council and other key Administration officials were aware of this intelligence in late March and that the President was briefed. … The President now denies being briefed, but the Administration has not denied the existence of the intelligence.”
Pelosi continued, “Congress and the country need answers now. 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.”
The Trump administration is expected to brief Congress on Monday. Though it’s unclear which members of Congress will be in attendance — Pelosi specifically requested briefing for all House lawmakers.
Sensitive intelligence matters are usually briefed to a small group of members of Congress known as the “Gang of Eight,” that includes the leaders of both parties in both chambers and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
The Trump administration is expected to brief members of Congress on reported Russian bounties on US troops at the White House this afternoon, per senior WH official. Unclear who is attending but D’s & R’s on “committees of jurisdiction” have been invited.— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) June 29, 2020
The reports of Russian agents offering bounties on American and British soldiers first appeared in the New York Times on Friday evening.
British outlet Sky News recently reported that officials in Great Britain confirmed the report.