President facing bipartisan calls for answers on Russian-offered bounties

BYREBECCA KHEELANDOLIVIA BEAVERS

Loud calls demanding answers re coming from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle after a flurry of reports revealed the intelligence community concluded months ago that Russia offered bounties to incentivize Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Sources in Washington say the uproar includes a chorus of Republicans who are typically reticent to confront President Trump, who has sought to deflect blame and responsibility by arguing he was not briefed on the intelligence that he claims is not credible.

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are calling the reported Russian operation “egregious” and “disturbing” — say Trump’s explanations only raise more questions that the administration must answer immediately.

MORE: TheHill.com

“Anything with any hint of credibility that would endanger our service members, much less put a bounty on their lives, to me, should have been briefed immediately to the commander in chief and a plan to deal with that situation,” said Rep.Mac Thornberry(Texas), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, who is retiring from Congress at the end of this term.

Thornberry, who added that the bipartisan “insistence to see the intelligence” is “even stronger nonpublicly” than it has been publicly, echoed other military leaders who have expressed incredulousness that such intelligence did not reach the commander in c

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