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A group of House Democrats will attend a classified White House briefing Tuesday about media reports claiming Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. soldiers.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland is the highest-ranking Democrat who plans to attend the meeting. Hoyer has requested that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California also attend, as well as Reps. Adam Smith, chair of the Armed Services Committee, Gregory Meeks, Brad Sherman, Bill Keating, Ruben Gallego, Abigail Spanberger, and Elissa Slotkin, a top Democratic aide said.
The article goes on to state the following:
Democrats on Monday criticized President Trump’s response to the report, accusing him of aligning himself with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of American interests. Trump said the bounty claim, first reported in the New York Times, is unverified.
On Monday morning, Republicans were briefed on the report by top Trump administration officials, including chief of staff Mark Meadows and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.
“Among other things, they informed us there is an ongoing review to determine the accuracy of these reports, and we believe it is important to let this review take place before any retaliatory actions are taken,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul of Texas and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois after the meeting.
In a tweet, Trump said the “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible,” and that it had not been reported to him or Vice President Mike Pence.
“Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!” Trump added.
McCaul and Kinzinger said in their statement that politics cannot “overshadow a truth that Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on: The Putin regime cannot be trusted.”
“If the intelligence review process verifies the reports, we strongly encourage the administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable,” they said.
New statement from Reps. McCaul and Kinzinger on classified WH briefing they received on reports that Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill U.S. & coalition troops: pic.twitter.com/HDbHF94r3u
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) June 29, 2020
Media: @RepKinzinger (IL16) to @Acosta on the question of who was briefed on the alleged Russian bounty plot: #Republicans “were brought up” to the @WhiteHouse and briefed. “The #Democrats were offered and they didn’t go.” Kinzinger says he’s told they’ll be briefed Tues a.m. pic.twitter.com/JLEw9vUBQA
— Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) June 29, 2020
Hoyer requested Foreign Affairs Chair Engel, Intel Chair Schiff, House Armed Services Chair Smith, & fellow Democrats Reps. Slotkin, Meeks, Sherman, Keating, Gallego & Spanberger join him tomorrow morning at WH for a briefing on Russian bounties against US troops in Afghanistan. https://t.co/iZa49QKAuw
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) June 29, 2020
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