President Donald Trump admitted he never confronted Russia’s president Vladimir Putin about bounties on U.S. troops, but the reporter who interviewed him said that wasn’t even the “most shocking” revelation he made.
Axios reporter Jonathan Swan interviewed the president about the bounties allegedly placed on U.S troops in Afghanistan and his recent call with Putin, but he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” what shocked him the most about their conversation.
“In some ways, the most shocking part of that clip is actually not the first part where he admits for the first time on the record that he hasn’t raised the issue of the bounties with Vladimir Putin,” Swan said. “That’s the least shocking part of that call, because actually, frankly, you know, you could have a debate within policy circles about whether it’s the appropriate thing.”
“I mean, that there are dissenting opinions within the intelligence community about this intelligence,” he added. “It certainly is serious intelligence, being taken seriously by the allies, and there is a very good argument for why the president should raise it with Putin.”
But that wasn’t the most surprising revelation Trump made, Swan said.
“The second question is actually more important, which is, fine, you don’t believe this intelligence, or you’re skeptical of it,” Swan said. “Let’s try and take the most good-faith interpretation of it. But you know that Russia has been supplying weapons and money to the Taliban because the man who ran your forces in Afghanistan, John Nicholson, under your administration, said this on the record when he worked for you, and for him to say then, well, I didn’t — I don’t know if I’ve heard about this, never reached my desk, and by the way, we gave them weapons, too.”
“I mean, like in a different era,” he added. “I just — honestly, it was one of the most shocking — I’ve covered president Trump for five years. I think it’s one of the most shocking exchanges I’ve ever had with him.”