House Speaker Pelosi Calls on Intel Chiefs to Brief Congress on Russian Bounties Targeting US Soldiers

by Chuck Ross


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday called on two top intelligence officials to provide a briefing to all members of Congress regarding reports that Russian intelligence has paid bounties to Taliban fighters to attack U.S. service members in Afghanistan.

“Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable,” Pelosi wrote to John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence and Gina Haspel, the director of the CIA.

U.S. intelligence officials said that a unit of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the GRU, paid bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American and Western soldiers, The New York Times reported Friday.

The bounty program had resulted in some American deaths. Intelligence officers reportedly learned of the program through interviews of captured Taliban fighters, The Washington Post reported on Sunday. The New York Times reported that American currency was found at Taliban strongholds that was believed to have been used to pay the bounties.

The Times also initially reported that President Donald Trump and the National Security Council had been briefed on the intelligence in late March, though Trump, the White House and Ratcliffe disputed that the president was briefed on the matter.

Trump issued two denials about a briefing on Sunday, saying that neither he, Vice President Mike Pence or White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were briefed on the intelligence.

It remains unclear why Trump would not have been briefed on the intelligence. John Bolton, the former national security adviser, said in an interview on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that whether or not the president was briefed might depend on the level of confidence that intelligence officials had in the information.

“The questions that arise are: was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed,” Pelosi wrote in her letter to Ratcliffe and Haspel.

She also accused Trump of failing to take action against the Russian government after other Russian aggression.

“The Administration’s disturbing silence and inaction endanger the lives of our troops and our coalition partners. The President’s refusal to stand up to the Russians also jeopardizes lives in the region, as the Afghan government and the United States are engaged in critical peace negotiations with the Taliban,” she wrote in the letter.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in an interview on Fox News on Monday that she would address the reports during a press briefing later.

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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
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2 Thoughts to “House Speaker Pelosi Calls on Intel Chiefs to Brief Congress on Russian Bounties Targeting US Soldiers”

  1. Deplorable Bay Stater

    Pelosi is concerned about President Trump not being more aggressive in dealing with Russia (where our options are seriously constrained by the need to avoid a military confrontation with a nuclear power), but she sees nothing wrong with weak-kneed, spineless Democrat Governor Jay Inslee of Washington utterly failing to take decisive action against a terrorist organization that has seized control of a sizable section of Seattle.

  2. Lee

    Cannot even listen to this lady speak or read her comments. She stumbles on her words, sides with radicals in government, belittles we the people for voting for the President of our choice, rather than hers…should I go on? Enough said. No interest here on anything she says as it has turned out to be mega-hype in the past