White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether the intelligence community determined if then-President Donald Trump or his senior advisers were briefed on intelligence reports on Russian bounties.
At Friday’s daily briefing, BuzzFeed News Politics reporter Ryan Brooks asked Psaki a question on behalf of Mediaite, in an attempt to flesh out the administration’s that revelations about allegations Russia provided financial incentives to Taliban forces for the killing of U.S. soldiers.
“Did the assessment of the Russian bounties include whether President Trump and his senior administration officials had been briefed on the threat?” Brooks asked.
“The assessment was done by the intelligence community to look at available intelligence,” Psaki explained. “So it wasn’t looked at, briefings or who has been briefed, it looked at available intelligence.”
“A lot of that came from detainees, and hence we announced it was low to moderate confidence, but it’s really not done through the prism of politics or the presence of current and past political appointees, but for the intelligence available and what can be assessed on that basis,” Psaki added.
When reports about the bounties surfaced in the American media last year, they prompted a blizzard of criticism for Trump and his administration because the reporting alleged that Trump was briefed on the bounties and had done nothing. Trump denied he’d been briefed, but reports continued to surface that he had been.
Some see the recent revelations, that the intel community assesses “low to moderate confidence” in the allegations, as a vindication of Trump. Psaki’s response leaves open the question of whether Trump was briefed on the threat, at least as far as the current intel community is concerned.
Watch the exchange above via C-Span.
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