Writing in the Washington Post this Monday, Aaron Blake takes a look at White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's explanations surrounding the recent bombshell report that Russia placed bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, saying that her answers don't "match up with President Trump’s, nor did they jibe with basic logic."
"First, there was a significant disconnect between what McEnany said and what Trump said Sunday night. Trump claimed that not only was it inaccurate to say he had been briefed on the Russian-bounties intelligence, but also that the intelligence itself wasn’t credible. ... But McEnany on Monday didn’t echo that. Rather than say that the information wasn’t credible, she instead suggested that it was merely unconfirmed. She said repeatedly that there was 'no consensus,' that there were 'dissenting opinions,' and that the 'veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated,'" Blake writes.
When McEnany was asked if Trump had a message for Moscow in light of the report, she replied that he did not because he hadn't been briefed yet. But according to Blake, this is highly unlikely.
"[Trump] said he had spoken with 'intel' about the matter and heard back that the intelligence wasn’t credible, but McEnany now says he hasn’t even been briefed on it. Wouldn’t speaking to 'intel' constitute a briefing of some sort?" Blake writes.
"It’s also worth emphasizing that she seemed to significantly scale back his denial of the intelligence," he continues. "We’ll surely find out in the days ahead how compelling lawmakers and others found this intelligence."
Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.