White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is “entirely off-base” for claiming that President Trump has not been applying pressure on Russia.
“This president has been very tough on Russia, sanctioning a new Russian target, closing Russian consulates, so she’s just off-base on her facts there,” McEnany told “Fox & Friends.”
RUSSIAN SPY UNIT PAID TALIBAN TO ATTACK US TROOPS, US INTELLIGENCE SAYS
Pelosi said on Sunday that she’s unclear as to what “the Russians have on” President Trump, but added that it must have swayed his administration not to take action after U.S. intelligence learned that Moscow spies offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill U.S. troops.
Pelosi said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that throughout Trump’s presidency he has ignored allegations against misdeeds committed by Russia, but that the new reports on bounties “is as bad as it gets.”
“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” Pelosi said. “I don’t know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is. But he wants to ignore, he wants to bring them back to the G-8 despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine.”
The New York Times first reported over the weekend that American intelligence officials have determined a Russian military unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces, including targeting American troops. The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post also reported on the Kremlin’s effort to orchestrate attacks on Western troops.
The Times reported that President Trump and the White House’s National Security Council were briefed on Russia’s bounty rewards in late March. They discussed an appropriate response, ranging from making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and economic sanctions, but the White House had not yet authorized a response.
McEnany said that Pelosi is the only person “playing politics” with the matter and is talking about “alleged intelligence that was never briefed” to Trump.
“What she’s doing, she’s taking a report based on anonymous sourcing that was just dead wrong. The New York Times was wrong, believe it or not. And she’s politicizing it,” McEnany said. “It is truly despicable,.”
McEnany said that she does not know who the unnamed sources are and called the matter “egregious.” McEnany also said that the leaking does not serve the interests of the United States.
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“To go and to share classified information or unverified intelligence or any of the thousands of reports that come in on any given day have to be assessed for their credibility,” she said.
President Trump late Sunday said U.S. intelligence could not confirm an explosive story that Russian military officials offered bounties to militants linked to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The White House said Saturday that Trump was not briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence, but didn’t confirm or deny the underlying reporting that Russia was giving out rewards to attack U.S. soldiers.