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McEnany Clarifies: Russia Bounty Reports Lack Consensus From Intel Community

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During her Monday afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked several times about the Russian bounty story and President Trump’s briefing on the matter.

The Press Secretary repeatedly said the President was not briefed on the story as intelligence agencies had not reached a consensus on the situation and there were some intelligence officials with dissenting opinions.

President Trump has since been briefed and some lawmakers from the Committees of Jurisdiction — a bipartisan group, McEnany noted — are meeting at the White House today to receive a briefing on the Russian bounty.

Reporters were referencing a story alleging Russia paid Taliban fighters to kill Western soldiers, including American forces.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277431695248183298?s=20

“The U.S. receives thousands of reports a day on intelligence and they are subject to strict scrutiny,” McEnany said. “There are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported.”

She noted that intelligence wouldn’t be “elevated” to the President until the validity of the information was verified.

“There is no stronger advocate for our servicemen and women than President Trump,” McEnany added. “When our adversaries have directly targeted U.S. or coalition partners, the President has not hesitated to act.”

McEnany refused to speculate on the validity of the story as there is still a lack of consensus. She did note, however, that the President has been strong with actions against Russia in the past.

“This President has been extremely strong on Russia,” the Press Secretary said. “Imposing sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals, expelling dozens of diplomats, closing two Russian counsulates, withdrawing from an INF treaty, and several other actions.”

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International

VIDEO: Russia Moving Missiles Towards Finland Border

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Putin has said in recent years that Finland is considered friendly so long as they do not join NATO. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed Sunday he has applied for NATO membership.

MetroUK tweeted chilling video and reported the following:

Russia has started moving nuclear-capable missiles towards its border with Finland hours after Moscow vowed not to tolerate Helsinki’s plans to join Nato.

The Kremlin issued a chilling warning that plans for both Finland and Sweden to sign up to the Atlantic alliance were a ‘grave mistake with far reaching consequences’.

Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said: ‘They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,’ and insisted ‘the general level of military tension will rise’.

The video was reportedly taken on a road leading to Vyborg, around 24 miles from the Finnish border, showing the deployment of mobile Iskander missiles.

“Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.”

A person on the video can be heard saying: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.

‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’

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