Addressing the bombshell report from The New York Times that Russia offered bounties on American troops in Afghanistan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday that she doesn’t know “what the Russians have on” President Donald Trump, but suggested that damaging information influenced his administration’s lack of response.
Pelosi told ABC host George Stephanopoulos that Trump “wants to ignore any allegation against Russia.”
“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
“I don’t know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, financially or whatever it is, but he wants to ignore, he wants to bring them back to the [Group of Eight] despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine,” she added.
If U.S. intelligence officials were aware of the bounties and Trump was not briefed, “what does that say about the concern that those who briefed the president have about not going anywhere near the Russia issue with this president?” Pelosi asked
When pressed on her claims that Russia has information on the president, she said, “How … else would you explain his refusal to even — to ignore again and again the intelligence that puts right at the Russian doorstep?”
“Now he’s saying this is fake news,” she added. “Why would he say that? Why wouldn’t he say, let’s look into it and see what this is?”
Pressed by @GStephanopoulos on her comments and whether she believes the Russians “have” something on President Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to deny it: “How else would you explain his refusal to even — to ignore again and again the intelligence.” https://t.co/rq4b7S2nbP pic.twitter.com/8OTw9ULZdg
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 28, 2020
The Times report, citing White House officials, said Trump and Pence were briefed that Russian operatives offered payments to Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops. It also said the National Security Council held a meeting on the subject in March.