NY Times falsely accuses the President of ignoring intel that was never briefed to him

Washington Examiner:
The nation’s spy chief denied reports that President Trump had been briefed on a U.S. intelligence report claiming that Russian military intelligence was offering bounties to Afghan militants to target U.S. and coalition forces.
“I have confirmed that neither the President nor the Vice President were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement released just before midnight on Saturday. “The White House statement addressing this issue earlier today, which denied such a briefing occurred, was accurate. The New York Times reporting, and all other subsequent news reports about such an alleged briefing are inaccurate.”
The New York Times reported on Friday that a U.S intelligence assessment concluded that a Russian spy unit paid Taliban-connected militants in Afghanistan to kill U.S. and other coalition troops, even as the Trump administration sought to reach a peace deal involving the Taliban and the Afghan government. The New York Times further reported Trump was briefed about the bounties during an interagency meeting late in March. Officials developed a list of options to respond, but the outlet's sources said the administration has yet to authorize any of the actions.
The Trump administration has denied that Trump was briefed on the alleged plot, although it has neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the alleged intelligence report itself.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Saturday that the United States “receives thousands of intelligence reports a day and they are subject to strict scrutiny” and that “while the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, the National Security Adviser, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence” She added that “this does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter.”
Richard Grenell, the former acting director of National Intelligence, said the New York Times story wasn’t true when Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, tweeted at Grenell daring him to confirm whether he did not tell Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about a Russian military intelligence unit offering financial rewards to Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops or that McEnany was lying.
"I never heard this," Grenell said. "And it’s disgusting how you continue to politicize intelligence. You clearly don’t understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain."
Lieu retorted: “If you are telling the truth, why doesn’t White House deny bounty story instead of saying you didn’t brief @POTUS?”
Grenell replied, “All anonymous sources. And these same reporters gave us the Russian collusion hoax you still hold on to.”
Grenell served as Trump's acting spy chief from Feb. 20 to May 26, overseeing the 17-member U.S. Intelligence Community. He also was U.S. ambassador to Germany and remains the special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations.
Numerous commentators on Twitter began asking why officials would decide not to tell Trump or Pence about a Russian spy unit paying militants to kill U.S. troops.
Grenell responded to an NBC News reporter asking this "obvious and very serious question."
"You are basing a whole bunch of assumptions on an anonymous source from the NYT," he said. Grenell also dismissed a tweet asking if a bounty on American heads was fine with him. "Disgusting. No one would be fine with this if it were true," he tweeted.
Other outlets — including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and CNN — also reported on the alleged bounties against U.S. and other coalition forces in Afghanistan.
The Taliban denied that it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence in exchange for killing coalition forces, and the Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."
This looks like another Russian story that is totally unsupported by those who should have been aware of it.  It looks like another lie calculated to put the President on the defensive and allow Democrats to make bogus claims.  It is the kind of disgusting crap coming out of the deep state ever since the 2016 election.  Like many other such bogus reports, the NY Times allowed itself to be used in a deliberate smear attempt.


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