FAST FIVE: Buried In All The Sensational "Russian Bounty" Headlines: Intel Chiefs Back White House Position
Crucially it remains, however, that the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have firmly rejected that the president was ever briefed.
And Trump said further in a Saturday night tweet: “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or VP.” A carefully worded and to be expected somewhat vague Monday evening statement from CIA Director Gina Haspel appeared to vindicate the White House's assertion of lack of credible intelligence behind it.
Essentially the CIA director seemed to reference the danger of “cherry-picking” from lower level unvetted raw information.
https://t.co/rB5kERtsg0 – Gareth Porter (@GarethPorter) June 30, 2020 A number of pundits took this as a clear denial that there was anything significant or worthy of briefing the president on regarding alleged “Russian bounties” – meaning it was likely deemed “chatter” or unsubstantiated rumor picked up either by US or British intelligence – and subsequently leaked to the press to revive the pretty much dead Russiagate narrative of some level of “Trump-Putin collusion”. Still, Congress wants answers in what's already indeed looking like a revived Russiagate scenario conveniently timed for the outrage machine to kick into full gear just ahead of the November election. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said: “If the reports are true, that the administration knew about this Russian operation and did nothing, they have broken the trust of those who serve and the commitment to their families to ensure their loved one's safety,” according to The Hill. “It is imperative that the House Armed Services Committee receive detailed answers from the Department of Defense.” The media just discovered that American troops have been dying in Afghanistan for 19 years because this week there's an anti-Trump angle.
That deeply-reported story vanished w/out consequences.