Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, told ABC News on Tuesday that while he saw no evidence of Russians offering bounties to kill USA troops during his time commanding Marines in Afghanistan, the families of fallen service members are "entitled" to answers.
Los Angeles Times legal affairs columnist, attorney and law professor Harry Litman, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said that under normal circumstances, revelations like this would prompt serious talk of impeachment.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien on Wednesday claimed that Trump's CIA briefer made the call not to share with him the intelligence referencing Russian Federation allegedly offering bounties to Afghan militants for killing USA soldiers.
Lawmakers also pointed out Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee had the same access to information the president did, however, never sounded the alarm until it was disclosed to the public.
Ms McEnany declined to say why a different standard of confidence in the intelligence applied to briefing legislators compared to bringing the information to the president. The briefings are written documents. It was then placed in front of Trump.
Mr Trump has been under pressure from politicians on Capitol Hill to address the reports.
Kinzinger's congressional opponent in November, Dani Brzozowski, D-La Salle, said the congressmen was covering for the president, stating reports are the president "was briefed". But he added that the administration has "been preparing should the situation warrant action".
Russia has denied the initial reports while the Taliban said it had not done any deal with Russian intelligence.
The national security adviser echoed the recent White House talking point faulting not Russian Federation but government leakers and the media for making the matter public.
How did intelligence find out?
The Kremlin has denied the allegations that it offered bounties to militants to kill American troops. Sources told the AP that career government officials also developed several possible actions against Russian aggression in Afghanistan. When Washington was unanimous saying we are going into Iraq, this president said no, that's not the right decision.
Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, seen here in Doha on February 29, 2020, spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Monday, according to a spokesperson for the insurgent group.
The Pentagon said Monday that there was "no corroborating evidence" to support the Times's reporting. "We have already rejected that".
FILE - Afghan security forces gather at the site of Monday's suicide attack near the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, April 9, 2019.
On CNN, US house speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed the timing of the Democratic briefing but said "it's no substitute for what they owe the congress of the United States".
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that us officials had intercepted data showing big financial transfers from an account controlled by Russia's military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account.
Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who received a classified briefing on the matter on Tuesday evening, said in a statement that if Trump "was briefed on this and did nothing, not only did he fail our service members but he broke his oath to protect and defend the constitution". However, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said both the Central Intelligence Agency and Pentagon did pursue the lead and briefed worldwide allies.
"Everything I understand the president was not briefed about this", Kinzinger said in the CNN interview. "And if not, how the hell not?"
The Associated Press has reported that Russian Federation began paying the bounties back in early 2019, even as Khalilzad was trying to finalize the deal with the insurgent group to end Washington's longest war and withdraw USA soldiers.
According to the USA officials, the Taliban has abided by terms not to attack the US-led coalition.
One of those soldiers was Corporal Robert Hendriks of Locust Valley, New York.