The New York Times reporter Charlie Savage wrote the dynamic article along with Eric Schmitt and
Appearing on MSNBC Am Joy Savage addressed Trump’s official response released by McEnany. She claimed that the president knew nothing about the incident.
McEnany also said that the heads of intelligence operations would be able to verify that neither Trump or Vice President Trump “were (sic) briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence:”
‘While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, National Security Adviser, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.’
Savage responded to the official White House statement, which said that POTUS had been flooded with reports, and Trump was not likely to know about many of them. The reporter said “they’re not denying” that Trump knew about the intelligence meeting:
‘One thing to notice about the statement they’re not denying that there was an intelligence assessment that the Russian government had offered bounties to Afghan militants and criminals to — they’re not denying that and that the white house has not known about this since March and convened in the interagency meeting about it. Even with the National Security Council in March.’
Then, Savage continued, quoting some of the White House verbiage, noting that some of the official statement appeared to define words differently from common English language useage:
‘So they have not tried to push back on that. They’re saying, ‘well, Trump wasn’t briefed. We don’t know if they’re using the word briefed in a highly specialized way like maybe it was in his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB0 document but he didn’t read it — the guy who comes in every few days to tell him about what’s in the document didn’t mention it that day. We don’t know what to make of that statement.’
After that, Savage pointed to something “that’s weird about that statement.” Here, he was referring to the idea the statement expressed, as if this was simply “a tip” and “just something randomly that showed up on the stoop one day:”
‘The other thing that’s weird about that statement is that it suggests the way that Kayleigh McEnany described it, ‘well, the U.S. government receives reports, thousands of reports a day,’ as if this was a tip that came in from outside the government when this was an assessment report developed by this government. It’s not just something randomly that showed up on the stoop one day. So having pointed both of those things out, all I’ll say is that is that we have a source who said that this was briefed at the highest levels of the White House.= and we have a second source who says it was in the written Presidential Daily Brief document.’
The journalist said in his article that “Islamist militants” were “believed to have collected some bounty money:”
‘Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.’
The NYT article also indicated that Trump and his National Security Council knew about the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to work against America. One official said:
‘The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step.’
General John Nicholson Jr said that “they’re acting to undermine our interests:”
“We share some interests with Russia in Afghanistan, and clearly they’re acting to undermine our interests as well,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American forces in Afghanistan at the time, said in a 2018 interview with the BBC.’
Even the Taliban had something to say about the issue. Spokesperson for the Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid denied the allegations, that they had “any such relations with any intelligence agency.” They indicated that this was a report attempting to “defame them:”
‘These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources. That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.’
Mujib Mashal also contributed reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan.
Watch the MSNBC AM Joy video below:
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.