President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday night to claim that the bombshell report about Russia offering a bounty for the heads of American troops in Afghanistan was probably fake news, and that his intelligence advisers deemed it “not credible.” But now the GOP is getting a briefing on it.
“Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!” he tweeted.
Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence from Feb. 20 to May 26 also said that he’d never heard the report, though reports from the New York Times said that spies and commandos knew about the information back in January of 2020, so it’s possible Grenell wasn’t there yet. Joseph Maguire was briefly the acting DNI for Trump from Aug. 16, 2019 to Feb 20, 2020.
I never heard this. And it’s disgusting how you continue to politicize intelligence. You clearly don’t understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain. https://t.co/403X9AVGAC
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 27, 2020
Trump then claimed that the New York Times probably doesn’t even have a source for their story.
The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its “anonymous” source. Bet they can’t do it, this “person” probably does not even exist! https://t.co/pdg4AjybOG
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2020
The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal also confirmed the story and the CIA “was tasked with reviewing, and later confirmed — generated disagreement about the appropriate path forward,” a senior U.S. official told the Post.
While Trump believes the information is false, it appears the Republican House is still getting a White House briefing on the intelligence Trump said he’s never heard and may not exist. It is unclear why Democrats and Senators were barred from the briefing.
The Afghanistan briefing this afternoon at the White House is for House Rs only.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) June 29, 2020
Seven lawmakers were just briefed on the reports about Russians offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops. Cheney, Thornberry, McCaul, Biggs, Banks, Kinzinger & Stefanik were briefed by O'Brien, Ratcliffe and Meadows, I'm told.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 29, 2020