U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, said that she is at a loss on the news that the White House knew Russian operatives were paying bounties for Taliban attacks on U.S. and NATO soldiers.
“As someone who worked at both the Bush and Obama White House, I can’t fathom how that intelligence wouldn’t make it to the President in short order, both because of the implications with the Russians, and with the Taliban who the President was negotiating with in real time,” Slotkin said in a statment.
“Either the senior staff was truly incompetent, or worse: they purposely withheld the information for fear that it would disrupt the President’s relationships. If they thought the president would have done the right thing and defended the lives and honor of our American troops in Afghanistan, they would have told him immediately. The fact that staff met on this issue and drew up a menu of response options but somehow no one informed the president seems to reflect an entrenched feeling that, at best the president needed plausible deniability, and at worst they assessed that President Trump would sacrifice U.S. troops for his relationship with Putin and the Taliban.
“Of all the ways this president has broken with tradition of past presidents, his constant yielding to the Russians is up there as the most confounding and strategically damaging to U.S. interests,” Slotkin said. “Something has been off about that relationship since the beginning, and Americans are quite literally paying in blood for his pandering to Putin.”