McEnany Clarifies: Russia Bounty Reports Lack Consensus From Intel Community

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.

“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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