Pelosi calls for all-House briefing on Russian targeting of US troops in Afghanistan
Following multiple reports that Russia paid the Taliban a bounty for killing U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants answers—and she wants all House members to get those answers. Pelosi sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel requesting such a briefing.
“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 Russia accountable,” Pelosi wrote.
The White House supposedly set up a briefing for lawmakers today … but Pelosi wasn’t invited. So that sounds like a talking point at best and quite possibly part of a cover-up, rather than an attempt to set the record straight.
“Since the origin of the intelligence community, one of its primary purposes has always been force protection,” Pelosi’s letter notes. “A key priority of our intelligence community in Afghanistan is protecting our forces.” In other words, an effective response to this intelligence is at the center of Ratcliffe and Haspel’s jobs. Yet somehow, “although an interagency meeting was reportedly held to discuss potential responses including formal diplomatic complaints and sanctions, no action has been taken for three months.”
“The questions that arise are: was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed.”
The White House and Trump keep issuing implausible denials, which just increase the questions around what Trump was told, how he responded, and why it took news reports to alert Congress to the threat. Is this a screw-up, or is it a cover-up on Trump’s behalf? A briefing to the House is one key step in finding out.