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Thread: Russia-Taliban Bounty Intelligence; WH Claims POTUS Wasn't Briefed

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    Russia-Taliban Bounty Intelligence; WH Claims POTUS Wasn't Briefed

    Trump Wasn’t Briefed on Russian Bounty Intelligence Because It Wasn’t Verified, White House Says
    Intelligence community hadn’t reached consensus on reports Russia paid bounties to Afghan militants to attack U.S. troops, spokeswoman says

    WASHINGTON—U.S. intelligence officials didn’t brief President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence on intelligence showing Russia paid bounties to Afghan militants to attack American forces because the intelligence community and national security officials hadn’t reached a consensus about its veracity, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday.

    “There is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations and in effect there are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported,” she said at the White House. Those allegations are being evaluated now, she said.

    Revelation of the reports has sparked criticism from Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans. Ms. McEnany said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows briefed the leaders of congressional committees at the White House Monday.

    Ms. McEnany wouldn’t discuss any actions Mr. Trump might take, citing the lack of consensus on the issue within the intelligence community.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-w...d=hp_lead_pos6


    1. How long does it take to reach consensus?
    2. There was consensus before, plenty of it, that Russia influenced our election and is trying again - and still not affirmative administrative "America First" action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    Trump Wasn’t Briefed on Russian Bounty Intelligence Because It Wasn’t Verified, White House Says
    Intelligence community hadn’t reached consensus on reports Russia paid bounties to Afghan militants to attack U.S. troops, spokeswoman says

    WASHINGTON—U.S. intelligence officials didn’t brief President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence on intelligence showing Russia paid bounties to Afghan militants to attack American forces because the intelligence community and national security officials hadn’t reached a consensus about its veracity, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday.

    “There is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations and in effect there are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported,” she said at the White House. Those allegations are being evaluated now, she said.

    Revelation of the reports has sparked criticism from Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans. Ms. McEnany said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows briefed the leaders of congressional committees at the White House Monday.

    Ms. McEnany wouldn’t discuss any actions Mr. Trump might take, citing the lack of consensus on the issue within the intelligence community.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-w...d=hp_lead_pos6


    1. How long does it take to reach consensus?
    2. There was consensus before, plenty of it, that Russia influenced our election and is trying again - and still not affirmative administrative "America First" action.
    I don't buy it for a second. If untrue, there's literally no way they'd let it sit for 72 hours before responding. And since when has this administration given a shit and a half about the intelligence community and consensus?
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    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/29/polit...?ref=hvper.com

    'In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America's principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials -- including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff -- that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations....'

    'In numerous calls with Putin that were described to CNN, Trump left top national security aides and his chiefs of staff flabbergasted, less because of specific concessions he made than because of his manner -- inordinately solicitous of Putin's admiration and seemingly seeking his approval -- while usually ignoring substantive policy expertise and important matters on the standing bilateral agenda, including human rights; and an arms control agreement, which never got dealt with in a way that advanced shared Russian and American goals that both Putin and Trump professed to favor, CNN's sources said.'
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    Last edited by jsrangers; 06-29-2020 at 09:22 PM.

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    Man, if all the things that came out tonight are true this would be resignation territory for any other president. The NYT has confirmed that it was in the President's Daily Briefing and in a more widely circulated CIA publication. There have been White House meetings for months to try to figure out what to do. Trump wiped up the military vote in 2016. If this bears out in any meaningful way, he should be dead to them. If he knew he's screwed. If he didn't know (and they didn't want to tell him for fear he'd tell Putin), he's screwed.
    Last edited by RodrigueGabriel; 06-29-2020 at 11:06 PM.

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    They're saying Bolton briefed him personally. (anonymous source.)

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    But for this guy it's just another day.
    Quote Originally Posted by RodrigueGabriel View Post
    Man, if all the things that came out tonight are true this would be resignation territory for any other president. The NYT has confirmed that it was in the President's Daily Briefing and in a more widely circulated CIA publication. There have been White House meetings for months to try to figure out what to do. Trump wiped up the military vote in 2016. If this bears out in any meaningful way, he should be dead to them. If he knew he's screwed. If he didn't know (and they didn't want to tell him for fear he'd tell Putin), he's screwed.

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    What’s that sound? (White) house of cards crashing down.


    This #Bountygate scandal is gaining traction bigly. Lose the confidence of your military as C-in-Chief? Part of me thinks he doesn’t last the week.

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    25th Amendment time boys and girls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    What’s that sound? (White) house of cards crashing down.


    This #Bountygate scandal is gaining traction bigly. Lose the confidence of your military as C-in-Chief? Part of me thinks he doesn’t last the week.
    I don't want him out now. That gives the GOP an out to not get absolutely mauled in this election. And if we're actually going to change the political climate in this country, we need the party not interested in actual governance to be absolutely mauled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodrigueGabriel View Post
    Man, if all the things that came out tonight are true this would be resignation territory for any other president. The NYT has confirmed that it was in the President's Daily Briefing and in a more widely circulated CIA publication. There have been White House meetings for months to try to figure out what to do. Trump wiped up the military vote in 2016. If this bears out in any meaningful way, he should be dead to them. If he knew he's screwed. If he didn't know (and they didn't want to tell him for fear he'd tell Putin), he's screwed.
    Quote Originally Posted by G1000 View Post
    I don't want him out now. That gives the GOP an out to not get absolutely mauled in this election. And if we're actually going to change the political climate in this country, we need the party not interested in actual governance to be absolutely mauled.
    There may be no choice. By all indications, POTUS knew about and pemitted to happen (because doing otherwise would somehow make him look bad?) the assassination of US soldiers under his command. He's fucked six ways to Sunday. There's no coming back from this.

    If the GOP backs a Trump enabler, they're not getting off scot-free, either. Senate Rs would still (and should still) face the consequences for running interference for the last four years.
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    I changed the title of this thread to be a bit more accurate because reporting from last night indicates there have been discussions on this topic in the White House dating back to March 2019 and that this intelligence was in Trump's briefing on February 27, 2020. But as of right now, the official stance from the White House is that Trump and Pence were not briefed.

    https://apnews.com/425e43fa0ffdd6e126c5171653ec47d1

    Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

    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.

    The White House did not respond to questions about Trump or other officials’ awareness of Russia’s provocations in 2019. The White House has said Trump was not — and still has not been — briefed on the intelligence assessments because they have not been fully verified. However, it is rare for intelligence to be confirmed without a shadow of a doubt before it is presented to top officials.

    Bolton declined to comment Monday when asked by the AP if he had briefed Trump about the matter in 2019. On Sunday, he suggested to NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump was claiming ignorance of Russia’s provocations to justify his administration’s lack of a response.

    “He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it,” Bolton said.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/u...nty-trump.html

    American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.

    The investigation into the suspected Russian covert operation to incentivize such killings has focused in part on an April 2019 car bombing that killed three Marines as one such potential attack, according to multiple officials familiar with the matter.

    The new information emerged as the White House tried on Monday to play down the intelligence assessment that Russia sought to encourage and reward killings — including reiterating a claim that Mr. Trump was never briefed about the matter and portraying the conclusion as disputed and dubious.

    But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation of the government’s latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Mr. Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.
    This is just par for the course stuff for the Trump administration - bad story comes out, deny deny deny, and hope people move on from it quickly. So, with that said, it didn't shock me or outrage me, sadly. This would be a defining scandal of most other administrations, but as jsrangers said, it's just another day.

    It really is indefensible, as far as I'm concerned, but it makes sense given the Trump administration's baffling desire to kowtow to Russia/Putin at every possible juncture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphinity View Post
    I changed the title of this thread to be a bit more accurate because reporting from last night indicates there have been discussions on this topic in the White House dating back to March 2019 and that this intelligence was in Trump's briefing on February 27, 2020. But as of right now, the official stance from the White House is that Trump and Pence were not briefed.

    https://apnews.com/425e43fa0ffdd6e126c5171653ec47d1



    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/u...nty-trump.html



    This is just par for the course stuff for the Trump administration - bad story comes out, deny deny deny, and hope people move on from it quickly. So, with that said, it didn't shock me or outrage me, sadly. This would be a defining scandal of most other administrations, but as jsrangers said, it's just another day.

    It really is indefensible, as far as I'm concerned, but it makes sense given the Trump administration's baffling desire to kowtow to Russia/Putin at every possible juncture.
    Any. ANY. The fact we even couch our own positions like this is evidence their assault on truth is working.
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    1. Agree with G1000 that a resignation would give the GOP an escape hatch from a true wave election. It might also dampen the ardor of the Lincoln Project types that have been brutally effective thus far. I think at that point, the Dems would really have to focus on the listing the ways that the Rs have abdicated the responsibility of governing. (I think you could get it to a succinct but pretty damning list.)

    2. I have to figure that the Supreme Court fight over his financial documents plays into this in a big way. If you listen to Frum, there is likely stuff connected to Russia that would call into question the motivations of his actions as President and thus his loyalty. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...awsuit/607540/ That decision could come out this morning, just to make it all a little crazier.

    3. This is your civil war right here, folks. Trump lost it single handedly before it even began. People want some semblance of the United States back. It's over.

    UPDATE: Trump v. Mazars/Dueche not coming out today. Will be in July.
    Last edited by RodrigueGabriel; 06-30-2020 at 10:37 AM.

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    Trump's financial ties are key -- 'follow the money' as they say. I've always felt that Trump's affinity for Russia was all about setting himself up for post-presidency real estate development. Someone posted on twitter that they envision him decamping to Russia to avoid prosecution. That's not conspiracy, that's an even-money bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    Trump's financial ties are key -- 'follow the money' as they say. I've always felt that Trump's affinity for Russia was all about setting himself up for post-presidency real estate development. Someone posted on twitter that they envision him decamping to Russia to avoid prosecution. That's not conspiracy, that's an even-money bet.
    His own dimwitted son admitted they get their money from Russia because US banks won't lend to them (because they're grifters who don't pay their debts).

    https://themoscowproject.org/collusi...g-need-russia/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    There may be no choice. By all indications, POTUS knew about and pemitted to happen (because doing otherwise would somehow make him look bad?) the assassination of US soldiers under his command. He's fucked six ways to Sunday. There's no coming back from this.

    If the GOP backs a Trump enabler, they're not getting off scot-free, either. Senate Rs would still (and should still) face the consequences for running interference for the last four years.
    I'm not sure I agree that there's no choice here. There are multiple possible outcomes, none of which are exceptionally good.

    1. Trump is impeached again. Senate holds kangaroo court again. Trump acquitted again. Dems run attack ads that the GOP thinks its perfectly fine for Russia to put bounties on our military.
    2. Trump is impeached again. Senate votes to convict. Trump removed from office. GOP writ large makes Trump scapegoat, get off scot free because voters do not hold them accountable.
    3. Trump is impeached again. Senate votes to convict. Trump removed from office. GOP writ large makes Trump scapegoat, Trump voters revolt.
    4. Trump is impeached again. Senate votes to convict. Trump refuses to leave office.
    5. Trump is not impeached, GOP sits on hands and does nothing.

    This all boils down to one thing: Either voters do not hold GOP leaders accountable, or GOP leaders have suppressed accountability as meaningful in a democracy.

    Personally, I'm done moving the bar - it's not an "if they let this happen..." thing. They had their chances enough to stop the madness, and I'm convinced that even murder-for-hire of our troops will be met with denial, lies, fake news, propaganda and every CYA measure on the planet instead of the exceptionally obvious "this is reprehensible and completely against the oath of office" reaction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G1000 View Post
    I'm not sure I agree that there's no choice here. There are multiple possible outcomes, none of which are exceptionally good.

    1. Trump is impeached again. Senate holds kangaroo court again. Trump acquitted again. Dems run attack ads that the GOP thinks its perfectly fine for Russia to put bounties on our military.
    2. Trump is impeached again. Senate votes to convict. Trump removed from office. GOP writ large makes Trump scapegoat, get off scot free because voters do not hold them accountable.
    3. Trump is impeached again. Senate votes to convict. Trump removed from office. GOP writ large makes Trump scapegoat, Trump voters revolt.
    4. Trump is impeached again. Senate votes to convict. Trump refuses to leave office.
    5. Trump is not impeached, GOP sits on hands and does nothing.

    This all boils down to one thing: Either voters do not hold GOP leaders accountable, or GOP leaders have suppressed accountability as meaningful in a democracy.

    Personally, I'm done moving the bar - it's not an "if they let this happen..." thing. They had their chances enough to stop the madness, and I'm convinced that even murder-for-hire of our troops will be met with denial, lies, fake news, propaganda and every CYA measure on the planet instead of the exceptionally obvious "this is reprehensible and completely against the oath of office" reaction.
    I mean, yes to all of this, but what we know of the polling to date is that the bolded is unlikely to occur. Some GOP-held seats are seriously vulnerable/extremely likely to flip, and many more are vulnerable enough to make the prospects of flipping the Senate real.

    Nearly four years of this endless barrage has, I think, exhausted even the most optimistic "let's wait and see what he does" voters to the point of not just wanting to fire him (see literally any national poll) but to remove his enablers, as well. It really feels like November isn't just a referendum on Trump, but on Trumpism, which is exactly what it needs to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    I mean, yes to all of this, but what we know of the polling to date is that the bolded is unlikely to occur. Some GOP-held seats are seriously vulnerable/extremely likely to flip, and many more are vulnerable enough to make the prospects of flipping the Senate real.

    Nearly four years of this endless barrage has, I think, exhausted even the most optimistic "let's wait and see what he does" voters to the point of not just wanting to fire him (see literally any national poll) but to remove his enablers, as well. It really feels like November isn't just a referendum on Trump, but on Trumpism, which is exactly what it needs to be.
    You know my stance here well enough - I'm of the belief that this is a choice about what sort of government you'd like more than it is a party; it's a choice between a democratic government that actually wants to do the work of governance and a demagogue-led dictatorship with little interest in governance aside from the projection and collection of power.

    My concern lies in the bolded: I simply don't think GOP voters will hold a demagogue appealing to them accountable for the things that fly in the face of American democratic values.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G1000 View Post
    You know my stance here well enough - I'm of the belief that this is a choice about what sort of government you'd like more than it is a party; it's a choice between a democratic government that actually wants to do the work of governance and a demagogue-led dictatorship with little interest in governance aside from the projection and collection of power.

    My concern lies in the bolded: I simply don't think GOP voters will hold a demagogue appealing to them accountable for the things that fly in the face of American democratic values.
    Totally agreed. Though I view Biden as more of a Yes Man than a demagogue.

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