House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says President Donald Trump is ignoring intelligence against Russia because officials in that country are in possession of information that could be damaging to him.
On Friday, The New York Times reported that Russian intelligence operatives have been putting bounties on U.S soldiers in Afghanistan. The Times also reported that Trump has known about the reported bounties for months and has been trying to develop a response.
During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday, Pelosi was asked if she was briefed on the reported bounties, she said, “No, and we have called for a report to the Congress on this.”
She continued, “This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed … With him, all roads lead to Putin. I don’t know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is, but he wants to ignore, he wants to bring them back to the G-8 despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine.”
Pelosi said Trump “should have been briefed” on the reports that Russian officials were offering money to Taliban militias to kill U.S. soldiers. She explained why Trump might have ignored the intelligence report, “The president wants to ignore any allegation against Russia.”
Watch the video below:
"Whether he is or not, his administration knows," Speaker Pelosi says as White House denies Trump was briefed.— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 28, 2020
“With him all roads lead to Putin … I don’t know what the Russians have on the president politically, personally, financially or whatever." https://t.co/rq4b7S2nbP pic.twitter.com/VV8ceO00x0
“You would think that the minute the president heard of it, he would want to know more instead of denying that he knew anything,” she said. And she vowed to find out if Trump was briefed or not but, she added, “If he was not, what does that say about the concern that those who have briefed the president have of not going anywhere near the Russia issue with the president?”
“How else would you explain his refusal to even — to ignore, again and again, the intelligence that puts right at the Russian doorstep the involvement into our elections, for example? Now he’s saying this is fake news. Why would he say that? Why wouldn’t he say, ‘let’s look into it and sees what this, giving the money to Taliban a bounty on the lives of our troops in Afghanistan.’ How do you answer to the family members of those who are serving there, and he’s engaged in peace negotiations with the Taliban, and he’s kissing up to Putin in every way, saying they should be in the G-7 even though they annexed Crimea and caused death and destruction in Ukraine, so totally irresponsible. Something is wrong with this picture.”
Trump denied that he was briefed on the matter and questioned the accuracy of the Times’ story. On Sunday, he tweeted, “Nobody briefed or told me, [Mike 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 added.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany previously denied that Trump was briefed on the matter. And former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell said he had not seen that intelligence.