Lawmakers voice alarm on Russia bounties report

Lawmakers in Washington were briefed on allegations Russia secretly offered bounties for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan. Members of Congress from both parties called for additional information.

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World News

June 30, 2020 - 9:40 AM

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Monday in Washington, D.C. Photo by Yuri Gripas / Abaca Press / TNS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight Republican lawmakers attended a White House briefing about explosive allegations that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan — intelligence the White House insisted the president himself had not been fully read in on.

Members of Congress in both parties called for additional information and consequences for Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and eight Democrats were to be briefed on the matter this morning, a day after the Republicans’ briefing. Still, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted Trump had not been briefed on the findings because they hadn’t been verified.

The White House seemed to be setting an unusually high bar for bringing the information to Trump, since it is rare for intelligence to be confirmed without a shadow of doubt before it is presented to senior government decision-makers. McEnany declined to say why a different standard of confidence in the intelligence applied to briefing lawmakers than bringing the information to the president.

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