House Dems reject Trump's 'hoax' talk on Russian Federation, bounty scandal

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Russia denies it issued bounties against US soldiers as White House distances Trump from reports | Watch News Videos Online

On Monday, the New York Times, citing two unnamed United States officials, said the intelligence assessment had been included in the President's Daily Brief report - a written document with key government intelligence - in late February.

"To hear the allegations that Russian Federation put a bounty on the heads of our troops, this crosses a line and is something that was really unacceptable", Sherrill told NJ Advance Media after the briefing.

"It's a great question", McEnany said, providing no evidence to back up her previous accusation.

According to a Tuesday report from the New York Times, U.S. intelligence officials had supported the contention that the Russian military was running a bounty program with intercepted electronic data "showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia's military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account".

The White House has defended Trump's handling of the matter but hasn't said how he might punish Russian Federation if the information is found to be true. Trump has sought throughout his time in office to improve relations with Russian Federation and its president, Vladimir Putin, moving earlier this year to try to reinstate Russian Federation as part of a group of world leaders it had been kicked out of.

Trump recently called for re-admitting Russian Federation into the G-7 group of nations with the largest developed economies.

The AP said its information about the bounties came from USA officials with knowledge of classified intelligence.

"We know that the goals of Russian Federation across the world are not aligned with our goals", Sherrill said.

"It should be no surprise that President Putin is always looking for ways to diminish our influence in the world".

After that comment, McEnany quickly ended the press conference.

"I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that the president hasn't come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russian Federation is putting bounties on American troops and that he will do everything in his power to make sure that we protect American troops", Rep. "That is a danger to our country if that is the case, and this matter needs to be gotten to the bottom of".

The White House did not answer AP's questions about if Trump or other officials knew of Russia's reported actions in 2019.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement Tuesday evening the Defense Department "has no corroborating evidence at this time to validate the recent allegations regarding malign activity by Russian personnel against USA forces in Afghanistan". Officials say that Trump often does not read his daily briefing, and instead prefers oral briefings several times a week.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who led a group of Democrats to the White House briefing on Tuesday, said the briefing had not provided them with any new substantial information about the intelligence, reports Xinhua news agency. The White House said Trump has not yet been briefed on the intelligence finding because it has not been fully confirmed.

Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Michael McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement: "If the intelligence review process verifies the reports, we strongly encourage the Administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable".

"The president called this a "hoax" publicly".

Senate Republicans, who have revealed a willingness to crack with the president on overseas policy and on Russian Federation in distinct, responded to the news on Tuesday with a assortment of responses-skepticism, brush-asides, diatribes from the media and leakers-but several appeared to take care of the story as primarily legit or worthy of all the fuss, or as a crimson flag regarding Trump's posture towards Moscow.

"It is possible", McEnany responded, shifting into pure speculation that dovetails with the president's long-simmering complaints about a "deep state" conspiracy against him. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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