The White House says President Donald Trump was not made aware of US intelligence officials’ conclusion that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan. (June 29)
- I know you said that President Trump was never briefed on these reports about the Russian bounties and whatnot, but can you say that he was briefed today?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: Look, I'll say this, that the US receives thousands of reports a day on intelligence, and they are subject to strict scrutiny while the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations. The CIA director, NSA-- national security advisor-- and the chief of staff can all confirm that neither the president nor the vice president were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.
- But has he been since briefed since all of these reports came out?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: So let me back up and say this, that 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. And the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.
- And one more question, if I could. Is he upset that this intelligence was reportedly shared with the British government but not him?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: I have no further comment on that.
- How could the president not be briefed on the Russia bounty story? Was he out of the loop by his own intelligence community?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: No. As I noted, there was not a consensus among the intelligence community. In fact, there were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community, and it would not be elevated to the president until it was verified.
- There are congressional leaders who are being briefed on the Russia situation, but the president has still not been briefed on the situation?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: Look, this has been asked and answered. The president is briefed on verified intelligence. Yes.
- How does he know-- if he hasn't been briefed, how is he certain that Russia didn't put out those bounties?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY: The president is briefed on verified intelligence. And again, I would just point you back to the absolutely irresponsible decision of "The New York Times" to falsely report that he was briefed on something that he in fact was not briefed on.