Republican representative Tom Reed refused to criticize Donald Trump for ignoring intelligence that Russia paid bounties to Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan to kill American soldiers. During his weekly press call on June 30, Reed sidestepped the matter claiming, “We have not been formally briefed.”
Olean Times Herald reports that Republican lawmakers were at the White House on Monday June 29 for an intelligence briefing on the matter.
Russian bounties on American troops were first reported by The New York Times on June 26. Since then the White House and Trump have claimed that the president was never briefed on the threat to US troops. CNN reports the threat was included in the President’s Daily Brief in the spring.
In addition to the president, the daily brief is distributed to high-ranking administration officials including Secretary of State Pompeo.
While Reed refuses to criticize the president, other prominent Republicans including Lindsay Graham and Liz Chaney have expressed concern over the White House inaction over the intelligence.