White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday addressed reports that Russian intelligence offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. soldiers, and the White House knew about it but did nothing.
After decrying the reports, McEnany told FNC’s “Fox & Friends” that the “off base” comments made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggesting President Donald Trump had been briefed on the intel is Pelosi “playing politics” for pushing the story, which the press secretary called “truly despicable.”
“First, Nancy Pelosi is entirely off base,” McEnany stated. “This President has been very tough on Russia, sanctioning innumerable Russian targets, closing Russian consolates. So, she’s just off base on her facts there, but secondly, let’s put this in the context of what she’s talking about. She’s talking about alleged intelligence that was never briefed to the President of the United States, and what’s she doing? She’s taking a report based on anonymous sourcing that was just dead wrong. The New York Times was wrong, believe it or not, and she’s politicizing it, so the only person playing politics here is the speaker of the House, and it’s truly despicable.”
She added, “There will be a briefing today. I think it will clear up a lot of the false reporting from The New York Times. The President has made clear he’s never been briefed, two DNIs have made that clear, both Ratcliffe and Rick Grenell, two national security advisers, Robert O’Brien, the current one, and even John Bolton said he was not aware of this intelligence. And intelligence, we don’t comment on it routinely, but just so you know how it works, it’s vetted for its veracity and then it only goes to the President and the high-level officials when it is deemed as verifiable and credible. So, I think it’ll clear up a lot when members of Congress are briefed today, but it is truly egregious when you have anonymous sources spewing out this information on the pages of The New York Times and wrongly giving them false information.”
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