Democrats slam Trump after White Home briefing for suggesting reviews of Russian bounties are a ‘hoax’

Democrats slam Trump after White House briefing for suggesting reports of Russian bounties are a 'hoax'

Home Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks to reporters subsequent to U.S. Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as Home Democrats reply to a White Home briefing on reviews Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops throughout a information convention following the briefing on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2020.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Home Democrats got here out of a closed-door White Home briefing Tuesday taking swings at President Donald Trump‘s response to reviews that Russia paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan to focus on and kill U.S. troops.

“The president known as this a hoax publicly. Nothing within the briefing that we’ve simply obtained led me to imagine it’s a hoax,” Majority Chief Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat within the Home, informed reporters after leaving the briefing.

“There could also be completely different judgments as to the extent of credibility [of the reports], however there was no assertion that the knowledge we had was a hoax,” he added.

Home Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., one other attendee within the briefing, stated, “I discover it inexplicable in mild of those very public allegations that the president hasn’t come earlier than the nation and guaranteed the American those that he’ll resolve whether or not Russians are placing a bounty on the heads of American troops.”

The briefing for the group of lower than a dozen Democrats, all of whom have prior expertise in nationwide safety or intelligence points, got here a day after the White Home briefed a separate group of Republicans on the reported findings {that a} Russian army intelligence unit covertly provided Afghan militants rewards for killing coalition forces.

One Republican, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, left that briefing with harsh phrases for The New York Instances, which broke the story.

“The actual scandal: We’ll seemingly by no means know the reality … As a result of the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into focused killing of American troopers to be able to smear the President,” Banks tweeted. “The blood is on their arms.”

At a Tuesday morning presser, nevertheless, GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas stated he “after all” has further questions after being briefed by the White Home.

Hoyer stated he informed chief of employees Mark Meadows, who invited him to the briefing, that he needed to listen to immediately from intelligence sources concerning the “very, very troubling” reviews.

“We didn’t obtain any new substantive data” from the briefing, Hoyer stated.

Home Overseas Affairs Committee chief Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., concurred, including, “I believe the American folks need to know why does not the president query [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, why does not the president condemn Putin.”

“I imply, for God’s sake, these are our troopers, and if we’re not going to guard them what are we going to do,” Engel stated.

The White Home didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon the Democrats’ remarks.

Democrats have clamored for solutions from the White Home on the alleged U.S. intelligence assessments, which have been first reported by the Instances and later confirmed by different retailers.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer have each known as for the Trump administration to temporary all members of their respective chambers concerning the reviews. These requests haven’t but been granted.

The White Home has maintained that Trump, who throughout the previous 12 months has stated he needed Russia to rejoin the alliance of world leaders often known as the Group of seven, had not been briefed on the reported intelligence findings.

As just lately as Monday afternoon, White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany informed reporters that Trump “has not been briefed on the matter” — even after Trump tweeted Sunday evening, “Intel simply reported to me that they didn’t discover this information credible, and subsequently didn’t report it to me.”

Trump in that tweet instructed the reviews are “presumably one other fabricated Russia Hoax” supposed to “make Republicans look dangerous!!!”

However the Instances, citing two officers with information of the matter, reported Monday evening that Trump had obtained a written briefing in February about intelligence relating to the alleged bounties. That very same night, the Related Press reported that the White Home was conscious of the matter in early 2019, and that former nationwide safety advisor John Bolton informed colleagues that he briefed Trump on the intelligence in March of final 12 months.

Trump administration officers resembling nationwide safety advisor Robert O’Brien say Trump was not briefed as a result of the allegations had not been verified by the intelligence group. Democrats have slammed that response.

“President Truman stated, ‘The buck stops right here.’ President Trump says, ‘I by no means noticed the buck,'” Hoyer stated on the Tuesday morning presser.

Schiff additionally stated, with out offering particulars, that the difficulty of the president’s every day intelligence briefing was mentioned on the White Home. An official cited by the Instances on Monday had stated the matter appeared within the president’s every day temporary on Feb. 27.

“I do not need to touch upon this specific case, however I’ll simply say it is not a justification to say that the president ought to have learn no matter supplies he has. If he does not learn, he does not learn,” Schiff stated. “They need to know that by now.”

Hoyer added: “Our focus was, what did the president know and when did he comprehend it?”

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