Pelosi denies prior knowledge of Russia bounty reports: ‘Intelligence community should have brought it to us’

The intelligence assessment reached the White House, the president’s written daily brief and the National Security Council and was even shared with the British government since its troops were also targeted, the newspaper reported. When asked Thursday if the Gang of Eight had also been briefed, Pelosi said they should have been.

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“I didn’t know about it,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference at the Capitol. “But I will say this: It was of a consequential level that the intelligence community should have brought it to us in that way.”

Pelosi also slammed President Trump for perhaps not reading his presidential daily brief, that the Times reported included information Russian bounty plot back in February, and said Trump should have also received a verbal briefing on the intelligence.

“As the White House was aware of the threat to the security of our men and women in uniform, the president was still flirting with the idea of having Russia be part of the G8,” Pelosi said, referring to Trump’s efforts to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the summit of world leaders.

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Pelosi suggested additional sanctions on Russia.

The White House said Trump didn’t learn about the so-called Russian plot and said it did not rise to his level because the intelligence community was not in complete agreement concerning the bounty plot.

Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told “Fox and Friends” Wednesday that the CIA officer who briefs the president decided perhaps not to tell the commander in chief that Russia was allegedly paying bounties to kill U.S. troops. For his part, Trump dismissed the reporting as a “hoax.”

But after the Gang of Eight classified intelligence briefing Thursday, Pelosi expressed belief in the effort by Russia to harm Americans and blasted the White House’s effort to minmise the intelligence as a “con.”

GANG OF EIGHT BRIEFED BY INTELLIGENCE CHIEFS ON RUSSIA BOUNTY ALLEGATIONS

“You got the con,” Pelosi said. “The White House put on a con that if you don’t have 100 percent consensus on intelligence that it shouldn’t rise to a certain level. Well, we would practically be investigating nothing if you had to start off at 100 percent, so don’t buy into that.”

Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., create a joint statement following the intelligence briefing saying that Trump needs to be relentless in the protection of American troops.

“Our Armed Forces would be better served if President Trump spent additional time reading his daily briefing and less time planning military parades and defending relics of the Confederacy,” Pelosi and Schumer said.

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