Sen. Young asks Trump for 'strong and immediate response' to reports of Russian Bounties

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:14 PM EDT
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The New York Times reported last week that US Intelligence Services concluded that Russian agents secretly offered bounties to militants linked to the Taliban for killing US and British troops.

Thea accusation has made waves through Capitol Hill and around the world.

However-- President Trump denied that he was informed of the information about Russia secretly paying the Taliban to kill US soldiers.

While intelligence officials said the information was passed along to the highest levels of the Trump administration, Director Of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said he had confirmed neither the president or vice president were every briefed on the matter alleged by the times.

In today's white house briefing, a reporter asked Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany how it's possible the president wasn't briefed about the incident.

“As I noted there was not a consensus among the intelligence community,” McEnany said. “In fact there were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community and it would not be elevated to the president until it was verified."

"The president is briefed on verified intelligence,” McEnany said. “The president is briefed was on verified intelligence. And again, I would just point you back to the absolutely irresponsible decision by the New York Times to irresponsibly report that he was briefed on something that he was in fact not briefed on."

The spokesman for Russian Leader Vladimir Putin said allegations that Russia paid militants to kill AMERICAN troops in afghanistan were a lie.

The answer us still unclear.

Senator Todd Young sent a letter to President Trump, demanding a swift response to the reports.

Dear Mr. President, I write with urgency following this weekend’s disturbing media reports which stated that the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, offered bounties in exchange for the targeting and killing of American and coalition service members in Afghanistan. If confirmed, this deserves a strong and immediate response from our government. It is imperative that the Congress and your Administration work together to deter any further aggression toward our nation. As Vladimir Putin continues his misguided campaign to restore Russia’s great power status, we must not permit Americans to be used as pawns in his global chessboard. I know you agree that our troops and our nation must be defended and I stand ready to hold Putin accountable for his actions. I recognize the actions your Administration have already taken against Russian behavior such as confronting them in the Ukraine, imposing heavy diplomatic costs, and advancing sober-minded nuclear policies, including efforts to modernize our nuclear triad and working to extend New START. However, if these reports are confirmed and American service members were found to have been killed as a result, an even stronger response will be required. Depending on where the facts lead, there should be no invitation for the Russian Federation to rejoin the G7 and you should impose sanctions directly on both President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov. It is imperative that the United States remain vigilant and uncompromising in the face of Russia’s threatening, provocative, and destabilizing behavior. With that in mind, I am alarmed by reports that you, the Vice President, and the relevant Congressional Committees were not briefed on this critical threat to our service members and to our national security. I believe that you would have wanted to know this critical intelligence information and be provided with the resources necessary to save the lives of our men and women in uniform. I stand ready to hold any members of your Administration accountable for their gross negligence in performing such a grave responsibility. As part of our constitutional prerogative, I recommend that the relevant Senate committees convene oversight hearings on this matter. In the coming days, we must work to ascertain the reliability of media reports and, where necessary, advance accountability within our own government and facilitate a punishing response to the seemingly immoral, illegal, and unconscionable actions of the dictator who lords of the Russian people. Sincerely, Todd Young United States Senator

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