Democrats and Republicans want answers from Trump on Russia bounty reports

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 29, 2020, 11.31 PM(IST)

US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Donald Trump has dismissed the reports as “fake news"

After reports of Russian military intelligence agencies offering bounties to militants for killing United States’ troops in Afghanistan, the Democrats and Republicans have united in pressurising the president to divulge more information.

"Congress and the country need answers now. I therefore request an interagency brief for all House Members immediately," Democratic US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel on Monday.

Also read: Russia denies paying militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan

"The questions that arise are: was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed?" Pelosi asked.

She was joined by Republican’s top representative Mac Thornberry, alongside Democratic Representative Adam Smith, while asking the Department of Defense for a detailed briefing.

Also read: It's all about him: John Bolton criticises Trump's statement on Russian bounties

"The American people – and our service members – deserve to know the truth about what the White House knew about these Russian operations that may have directly resulted in the deaths of American service members," Smith said.

Thornberry, while referring to the debacle, said that any delay "will not be acceptable”.

Also read: Trump says he wasn't briefed on Russia-Taliban bounty intelligence

A closer worker with the US Congress revealed that the Republican-only meeting would take place in the White House on Monday. US Speaker’s Pelosi’s close aides, Chuck Schumer, along with other Democrats said that they don’t expect any Democrats to be invited.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has dismissed the reports as “fake news”, and further suggested that this was an attempt to make the Republicans look bad.

Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican acting intelligence committee chairman, said that they would "continue to conduct vigorous oversight" of threats faced by the United States.