Should President Trump Have Been Briefed On The Russian Bounty Intelligence?

CNN: Former Intelligence officials scoff at White House denials that Trump wasn’t briefed on Russia bountyIn response to reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan, the White House has denied that President Donald Trump was “personally briefed” on the matter, claiming that the intelligence “wasn’t verified.”

But a US official familiar with the latest information told CNN on Monday that intelligence about the Russian bounty was included in the President’s Daily Briefing (PDB) sometime in the spring. The written document includes the intelligence communities’ most important and urgent information. On Monday night, the New York Times reported that the information was included in a written briefing to the President in late February.

Trump is not known to read his daily briefing, and instead prefers an oral briefing a few times a week.

These latest revelations come as numerous former senior intelligence officials are pushing back on the White House denials, saying it was “absurd,” “ridiculous,” and “inconceivable” that the President would not have been briefed on such critical intelligence that potentially put US soldiers in harm’s way.


WNU Editor: When I first I started this blog, I learned very quickly that the debate on what to put in a Presidential intelligence briefing has been an ongoing discussion for years. In this case, if the New York Times/Washington Post reporting is accurate, U.S. intelligence learned that a lot of US money was found in a Taliban outpost, and the prisoners told those that captured them that it was given to them by Russians to kill US soldiers. The problem with that story is that the Taliban do not need to be bribed with money to kill US soldiers. They are doing it for free. And considering the source …. low level Taliban prisoners and criminals …. not a very good source of intel. So to notify the President based solely on this intel is to me a waste of time. And considering when this intel was brought up the chain of command, in the middle of a pandemic that was gripping the world, it would have been an unnecessary diversion. As to the accuracy of the media on reporting this story. It is revealing to me that Richard Grenell, who was the acting Director of National Intelligence during this time and who would be privy to all intel, is saying that this is the first time he is hearing this. Which (for me) puts into doubt the entire media narrative behind this story.

Update: Even NBC has trouble making the case …. Russia intel mystery: How strong is the case Russia bribed the Taliban to kill Americans? (NBC).

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