Appearing on MSNBC early Sunday morning, the former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency said it was "inconceivable" that Donald Trump was not aware that Russia has been paying a bounty for every American soldier killed in Afghanistan and said the administration's protestations "don't add up."
Speaking with host Ali Velshi, Jeremy Bash cast a jaundiced eye at statements coming out of the White House that seem to imply the president and Vice President Mike Pence were out of the loop about such a serious charge.
'"They don't appear to be denying the underlying intelligence," Bash began. "They don't appear to be denying they have intelligence that Russia and Russian intelligence paid Taliban elements to go out and kill U.S. service-members whether it was for tactical victories in Afghanistan or some more strategic effort by Moscow to get us to be more focussed on counterterrorism and less on power competition."
"So the intelligence and national security leaders don't appear to be rebutting the basis of the intelligence, but they appear to be saying the president and other senior leaders at the White House were not briefed, which I find totally inconceivable and totally noncredible."
"In my experience, at the CIA and the DOD., there are numerous layers of intelligence, departments and agencies, and organizations that would be carefully scrutinizing these kinds of reports, everything from the forces downrange in Afghanistan to the Joint Staff of the Pentagon, secretary of defense, Defense Intelligence Agency, CIA and other agencies," he continued. "They surface up the reports for specific, very comprehensive analytic products to national security leaders every day. I don't get it. It doesn't add up and we need more answers to the questions."