Transcript for White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019: Report
We go to the white house where president trump is under fire over intelligence indicating that Russia paid bounties for the killing of U.S. New reports say the white house was aware of the intelligence in 2019 and in the president's daily brief this February as the families of killed Americans express outrage and members of congress from both parties demand answers. Mary Bruce at the white house with the latest. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, George. There are new questions here about who knew what and when. Overnight this new report suggesting that the white house knew that Russia was offering bounties for the lives of U.S. Forces a full year earlier than was previously reported. The president though insists he was never briefed and the white house now is giving no indication that he plans to be. This morning, the associated press reports top white house officials were aware early last year of intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans. "The New York Times" reporting it was included in the president's daily briefing on February 27th and was published in a classified CIA document for the intelligence community may 4 th. That contradicts what the white house is saying. You say that he wasn't briefed. Does that mean it wasn't in the pdb either. He was not personally briefed on the matter. That's all I can share with you today. Reporter: Reporters asking why not? 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. Unverified intelligence gets put in front of presidents all the time. It's the nature of intelligence. There's always going to be uncertainty. Doesn't mean it's not important and doesn't mean it shouldn't be seen by the president. Reporter: Overnight the director of national intelligence says the white house is still investigating this intelligence and slammed the leaks that led to these reports. Saying unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story. But he did not mention Russia. The timing of the intelligence is now raising questions about the loss of potential American life. The ap reports military officials are investigating whether a car bombing that killed three Marines in April 2019 was connected to these alleged bounties. The father of one of those Marines saying if this was kind of kept under the carpet as to not make it a bigger issue with Russia and one ounce of blood was spilled when they knew this, I lost all respect for this administration. Democrats are now demanding all of congress be briefed. You would think that the minute the president heard of it he would want to know more instead of denying that he knew anything. Reporter: Republicans have questions too. Who knew what, when and did the commander in chief know and if not how the hell not? Reporter: Now a small group of Democrats are being briefed here at the white house this morning in an unusual move. The parties are being briefed separately on this. A handful of Republicans received a briefing yesterday and it is clear both sides of the aisle have a lot more questions. Yeah, that is surprising and congress is now demanding a briefing for every member of congress. Mary Bruce, thanks very much.
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