On CNN Monday, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff said that even Republicans in Congress don't think the White House's explanation on the intelligence for Russian bounties against U.S. troops makes any sense.
"The White House statement does not deny that the intelligence assessment exists," said anchor Jim Sciutto. "They've just leant on the idea that the president was not briefed on that. Now why wouldn't he, if there was ... credible information that U.S. forces were responding to about a threat to U.S. servicemembers deployed abroad? Why wouldn't the commander in chief be briefed on that?"
"Well, that is an excellent question, and it's one you're hearing more and more from Republicans on Capitol Hill," said Isikoff. "Look at Liz Cheney's statement yesterday, why wasn't the president briefed on this, and in some ways, if in fact the White House assertions are true and he wasn't, that may be more damning than anything else, because it raises the question of why wouldn't he be, given the seriousness of this matter."
"It's pretty hard to escape the conclusion that there's a long pattern of Trump resisting briefings and information about Russian misbehavior, because it immediately cues him into the 'Russia hoax' he believes plagued his presidency from the outset and tainted his election," continued Isikoff. "That's the prism through which he views everything about Putin and Russia, and so it may well be here that top national security officials withheld the information from the president because they feared how he might react or not react."