President Trump claimed in a late-night tweet that he was not briefed on intelligence about a Russian unit offering bounties on American service members in Afghanistan because the U.S. intelligence community deemed the information not credible.
Trump also suggested that details of the intelligence, first reported by The New York Times on Friday, may have been fabricated by the media in order to “make Republicans look bad.”
“Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP,” Trump tweeted late Sunday night. “Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!”
Neither the White House nor the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) have directly addressed the credibility of the intelligence as described but have disputed the Times’s account that Trump was briefed on the information. Representatives for the ODNI and CIA did not immediately return requests for comment Monday about the president’s claim that intelligence officials informed him the information was deemed not credible.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on “Fox & Friends” Monday that Congress would be briefed on the matter, without offering further details on who specifically would participate in the briefing. McEnany did not comment on the details of the intelligence but suggested that it had not been deemed “verifiable and credible” in denying that Trump had been briefed on the information.
“Intelligence, we don’t comment on it routinely but just so you know how it works, it is vetted for its veracity and it only goes to the president and the high-level officials when it is deemed as verifiable and credible,” McEnany said.
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