John Bolton Reportedly Briefed Trump on Russian Bounties in 2019
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton briefed President Donald Trump about Russia placing bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in early 2019, according to reports late on Monday. This would push Trump’s knowledge of the problem back even further than the February, 2020 date reported by The New York Times.
According to a report from the Associated Press:
“The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.”
President Trump has denied having any knowledge of the Intel on Russian bounties. He’s also claimed that Intel was not credible. Both of these claims now appear to be false. Reports yesterday suggested the information had been contained in briefings during the spring of this year, but it now seems the information was available to Trump well before that.
Congressional Republicans were briefed on the issue yesterday and despite denials of its accuracy from the White House and the Russian government, it now seems clear that the country was offering money to the Taliban for the deaths of U.S. soldiers.
Democrats in the House and Senate have called for immediate briefings on the matter and the issue doesn’t seem to be going away for Trump, who has had a series of bad weeks. In addition to the historically poor economy, the deadly pandemic and his tanking poll numbers, the President will now have to deal with more accusations about his closeness with Russian President Vladimir Putin.