Washington Post’s political columnist David Ignatius appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday and said that his own follow-up on the New York Times’ explosive report that Russia paid bounties to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. soldiers revealed that Pentagon officials were “pounding on the door” and trying to get Donald Trump to do something about it.
Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, Ignatius said he was stunned by the Time’s report and started looking into the details himself for confirmation.
“Based on my reporting trying to confirm the New York Times’ excellent story it’s clear in late March you had senior U.S commanders, senior civilian intelligence officials, in effect pounding on the door of the White House saying we need to do something about this,” he revealed.
“We need to come to a conclusion about what damage the Russian program is doing, we need to reassess our programs in Afghanistan and they couldn’t get an answer,” he continued. “To this day there’s not an answer, there’s not a real response. Was this because the president was briefed and did nothing or because he wasn’t briefed because people were afraid to give him bad news and kept it to themselves? I don’t know.”
“But it almost doesn’t matter in terms of the breakdown in terms of the way the government is supposed to work,” he continued. “In some ways, it’s almost worse the department didn’t tell him, ‘Mr. President while you’re encouraging Russia to rejoin the G8, we should mention Russia is putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers.’ If they didn’t tell him that, it’s a stunner.”
“I think people are steamed up about it, there’s nothing that would make American commanders angry other than the idea that their soldiers had targets on their back because of the actions of somebody that the president was still speaking of as a prospective ally,” he added.
Watch the interview below: