Democrats demanded the Trump administration provide more information about intelligence that Russia put a bounty on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and accused the White House of failing to take the matter seriously.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said after getting a briefing at the White House that he isn’t sure whether President Donald Trump has yet heard details about the intelligence days after the first public reports about it.
“This is a red flag, that either was not waved, or the president ignored the wave,” Hoyer said. “This is a serious matter and we need to make sure members of Congress and the public understand whether our relationship with Russia is compromised by the president and his relationship with” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There is “certainly” evidence of Russian involvement in Afghanistan with regard to placing bounties on U.S. troops, Democratic Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said after returning from a briefing at the White House.
Trump has publicly shrugged off allegations that Russia offered bounties to kill American troops in Afghanistan. His only public statement about the reports was a tweet that an intelligence official he didn’t name told him the bounty allegations weren’t credible.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff suggested “there may be reluctance” on the part of intelligence and White House officials to brief the president “on things he doesn’t want to hear,” particularly with respect to Russia.
“I would certainly put this in the category that if you are going to be on the phone with Vladimir Putin, this is something you ought to know,” Schiff said at a news conference with Hoyer and the other Democrats who were briefed.
Some Republicans also want the administration to provide more answers.
“I think we need to get the truth here,” Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said. “We need to find out where the intelligence reports were lodged and what the intelligence community thought about them and who was told.”
Acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliff was set to go before the panel Wednesday for a previously scheduled hearing.
Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Intelligence committee, said military families in his home state of Nebraska are “livid” about the reported bounties.
“This is a time to focus on the two things that Congress should be looking at. One, who knew what when and did the commander and chief know?” Sasse told reporters Monday. The second, he said, is “what are we going to do to impose proportional cost in response?”
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm
QUICKTAKE ON SOCIAL:
Follow QuickTake on Twitter: twitter.com/quicktake
Like QuickTake on Facebook: facebook.com/quicktake
Follow QuickTake on Instagram: instagram.com/quicktake
Subscribe to our newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FJ0oQZ
Email us at email@example.com
QuickTake by Bloomberg is a global news network delivering up-to-the-minute analysis on the biggest news, trends and ideas for a new generation of leaders.
In This Story: Afghanistan
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
3 Recent Items: Afghanistan
In This Story: Democrats
“Democrats” usually refers to the The Democratic Party of the United States – one of the two major political parties in the country, along with its main, historic rival, the Republican Party.
It was founded on 8th January 1828 and has its contemporary headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States. The present leadership is Nancy Pelosi (Party leader) and Jaime Harrison (Party chair).
2 Recent Items: Democrats
In This Story: Donald Trump
Donald John Trump was the 45th President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.
5 Recent Items: Donald Trump
In This Story: Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.
5 Recent Items: Putin
In This Story: Republicans
The Republican Party, sometimes also referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main, historic rival, the Democratic Party.
It was founded on 20th March 1854 and has its contemporary headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States. The present leadership is Ronna McDaniel (chairwoman).
2 Recent Items: Republicans
In This Story: Russia
Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.
The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.
3 Recent Items: Russia
In This Story: Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin is a Russian politician and a former intelligence officer who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously being in the office from 1999 until 2008. He was also Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.