Fox News political analyst Juan Williams blasted President Donald Trump and the entire Republican party for their stunning silence after it was reported that Russia paid bounties for the murder of US troops in Afghanistan.
“There is no way to explain President Trump’s lack of action in response to U.S. intelligence showing Russia paid bounties for the murder of American soldiers. Even worse, there is no explanation for why Congressional Republicans aren’t raising hell over Trump’s silence,” Williams wrote on a blistering op-ed published by The Hill.
Williams noted that “military veterans are speaking up” against the president, pointing out a recent ad from “VoteVets.”
“Putin pays bounties to Taliban enemies to kill American soldiers and not a word from Donald Trump,” says the narrator in an ad from the group ‘VoteVets.’
In a different ad from the same group, the narrator says: “Benedict Arnold can step aside, because Benedict Donald is America’s number one traitor.”
“Trump’s only defense is to say he was not told about the intelligence and did not read his briefing book,” Williams wrote before arguing that “Trump is hiding behind the fact that the intelligence is not totally confirmed. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dismissed the idea that Trump did not react to the report because the intelligence agencies did not have a “100 percent consensus.” She called it a “con.”
“We would practically be investigating nothing if you had to start off at 100 percent…Just because they didn’t have 100 percent consensus, should this be not briefed to the president of the United States?” Pelosi said.
The columnist pointed out a Washington Post report revealing that “in April 2019 there was an attack in Afghanistan killing three Marines and “those who planned it may have been paid a bounty by a Russian military intelligence unit to kill Americans.”
“So it is hard to say which is worse: Either Trump did not read his written briefing report, or his aides thought it best not to tell him. Whatever the case, it is shockingly clear that the President of the United States did nothing.”
Williams then took aim at Trump’s enablers in Congress: Republicans.
“So, where is the shouting from all those flag-waving congressional Republicans?” Williams asked. “Their current silence reminds me of their quiet when the Trump administration did nothing to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Trump even enlisted fellow Republicans in demonizing the FBI for looking into the plot.”
Trump called the probe into Russian election interference a “hoax.” Now he is calling news of the Russian bounty intelligence a “hoax.”
“He is keeping Republicans in line by linking the election tampering probe to the questions about the bounty scandal. He said this latest outrage is “possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax…wanting to make Republicans look bad!!”
“But it is an outrage to play politics with a matter of life and death for American soldiers. And it is particularly galling when you consider how they attacked people who asked questions about the Iraq War — people like me,” the columnist argues.
They smeared critics of Bush’s Iraq War as traitors.
Then-Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who led the House Republicans’ campaign arm at the time, accused then-Sen.Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) of “divisive comments [that] have the effect of giving aid and comfort to our enemies by allowing them to exploit divisions in our country.”
“So, where are today’s Republicans calling out the Trump administration for its lack of response? The only action by the Trump administration has been to start a probe to find out who leaked news of the intelligence reports to newspapers.”
“That diversionary tactic is consistent with Trump’s failure to handle foreign affairs throughout his presidency,” Williams noted. “The American people see it.
You can read the entire column here.