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Trump advisor claims president wasn’t briefed on Russian assassination bounties because of media ‘allegations’

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Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O'Brien speaks to families of Americans held captive abroad on April 2, 2019, at the Department of State. [State Department Photo by Michael Gross]

The Trump White House is continuing its stall and denial program, with its latest entrant, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien releasing a statement in Tuesday’s early morning hours. In it, O’Brien claims President Donald Trump was never briefed on the Russian program of paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, and puts the blame for him not being briefed – a claim debunked by multiple press reports – on the press.

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“Over the past several days, the New York Times and other news outlets have reported on allegations regarding our troops in Afghanistan,” O’Brien says in his statement, never mentioning Russia.

“While we do not normally discuss such matters, we constantly evaluate intelligence reports and brief the President as necessary. Because the allegations in recent press articles have not been verified or substantiated by the Intelligence Community, President Trump had not been briefed on the items.”

O’Brien says Trump hasn’t been briefed “on the items,” while not saying what “the items” are. More importantly, a report from the Associated Press says former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton has said he briefed Trump in March of 2019 on the intelligence showing Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers. And The New York Times reports Trump was briefed in writing back in April.

O’Brien goes on to say, “should the situation warrant action,” Trump will be briefed.

So far, top Republicans have been briefed. NATO has been briefed. The UK has been briefed. Top Democrats today will be briefed. But the president, allegedly, has not been briefed, nor are there plans to do so, according to the National Security Advisor.

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O’Brien then threatens administration officials about leaking.

“To those government officials who betray the trust of the people of the United States by leaking classified information, your actions endanger our national security. No matter the motivation, there is never a justification for such conduct,” he says.

Russia paying terrorists to kill American soldiers is never mentioned.

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O’Brien then offers praise for the Commander-in-Chief.

“Let me be clear that there is nothing more important to President Trump than America’s security and the safety of our men and women in uniform. He has demonstrated this commitment time and again.”

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Trump holds large rally in Georgia — one day after the Peach State set a new coronavirus record

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President Donald Trump departed the White House on Saturday for an evening campaign rally in Georgia -- despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is ostensively making the trip to support Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. However, Republicans fear Trump will use his speech to continue bashing GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.

Trump's visit also comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

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2020 Election

Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp

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Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.

Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1335268230206722048

"Trump is to headline a campaign rally for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the state Saturday night — his first major political event since before the Nov. 3 election. GOP officials are working frantically behind the scenes to try to keep the president on script at the rally, worried that he will use the forum to attack Kemp and other state GOP officials who have resisted his pressure, according to a person familiar with the discussions," The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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2020 Election

Trump ‘facing a rapid decline’ as he wallows in ‘rage and denial’ over election loss: report

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President Donald Trump's mental health since losing the 2020 presidential election was the focus of a new analysis by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker that was published online Saturday.

"Over the past week, President Trump posted or reposted more than 130 messages on Twitter lashing out at the results of an election he lost. He mentioned the coronavirus pandemic now reaching its darkest hours four times — and even then just to assert that he was right about the outbreak and the experts were wrong," Baker reported under the headline, "Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial."

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