alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Former RNC head: Trump knew about Russian bounties on US military much earlier than he’s letting on

Image via Screengrab.

Appearing on MSNBC on Monday morning, former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele claimed he had no doubt that Donald Trump was aware that Russia was paying out bounties for the killings of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.


Speaking with “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the former RNC head was asked if Donald Trump thinks Americans are “stupid” for telling them he was out of the loop on the intelligence reports.

“I will take up that challenge and say they did brief him,” Steele replied. “I do not believe that something as important and severe as this was left untold to the president of the United States.”

“What I think is disturbing is his reaction to it once he was told — the fact that there has been nothing done,” he continued. “There has been no rebuke officially from the United States and the fact that the White House, even over the course of the president’s tweets still has not denied the underlying intelligence that this is, in fact, what happened and this is, in fact, what we do know and the reality is.”

“This is a bounty placed on the heads of American soldiers, you are the commander in chief, alright?” he continued. “So this isn’t about politics. This is about what you do as a leader of men and women in uniform who now find out that you are okay with a bounty on their head by your — by our adversary. So this is what he’s going to have to account for — he can’t spin this out. There may be some Republicans who will run to his defense, that will be curious to watch.”

Watch below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close