USA congress leaders: did Trump know about Russian Federation and the Taliban

While Ratcliffe did not directly refer to the story, originally run by the New York Times on Friday, which alleged that USA intelligence had briefed President Donald Trump on reports that Moscow offered Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan money in exchange for the killing of U.S. soldiers, he stated that the Directorate is "still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting".

The assessment was first reported by The New York Times, then confirmed to The Associated Press by American intelligence officials and two others with knowledge of the matter. "If the intelligence review process verifies the reports, we strongly encourage the administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable".

Reps. Michael McCaul of Texas, leader of the House foreign affairs committee, and Adam Kinzinger of IL, issued a joint statement on Monday stating they were briefed on the matter along with other House Republicans by top White House officials, including national security advisor Robert O'Brien and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, stating they were informed that there is an ongoing review "to determine the accuracy of these reports".

"We definitely need to get to the bottom of whether this happened or not", Katko said in an interview. "Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russian Federation accountable", Pelosi said. "I say that not only as a member of Congress, but as the father of an Army infantry soldier".

The New York Times separately reported that USA intelligence officials believe at least one American military death stemmed from the rewards, citing two officials briefed on the matter.

Trump sought to cast doubt on the Russian reward effort, saying on Sunday he was never briefed on the matter and that U.S. intelligence officials told him this was because the information was not credible.

"Nobody briefed or told me, [Vice President Mike Pence] or Chief of Staff [Mark Meadows] about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an "anonymous source" by the Fake News @nytimes", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The New York Times and the Associated Press also reported USA military and intelligence officials were reviewing past casualties to see whether they were tied to Moscow's alleged payments.

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"If in the USA the special services are continuing to report to the president, I suggest that one be guided by the relevant statement of President Trump, who has already given his assessment of these publications", he told reporters during a conference call. "And again, I would just point you back to the absolutely irresponsible decision of The New York Times to falsely report that he was briefed on something that he, in fact, was not briefed on".

"If true that Russian Federation reprehensively targeted our service members, it will certainly require a swift, strong and appropriate response from the United States".

If the report is confirmed, Katko said, he wants to know whether the president and vice president were informed by US intelligence officials. If not, he wants to know why.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said, "After today's briefing with senior White House officials, we remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted USA forces".

Members of Congress in both parties called for additional information and consequences for Russian Federation and its president, Vladimir Putin, and eight Democrats were to be briefed on the matter Tuesday morning.

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, on Monday demanded the top two U.S. intelligence officials provide an immediate briefing for lawmakers.

"I am calling for the Directors of National Intelligence and the CIA to immediately brief all 100 Senators on reports that Russian Federation placed bounties on US troops in Afghanistan", said Schumer, D-N.Y.

"While there is a lot we don't know at this stage, these are serious allegations", said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, whose district includes Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill.

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