New reporting revealed that Trump was reportedly briefed in writing in early 2019 and in late February this year on Russian bounties to have American troops killed in Afghanistan, which led to the deaths of several US service members. Despite officials developing a “menu of potential options”, Trump has failed to take any action in response.
Instead of confronting Vladimir Putin, Trump has repeated Russian propaganda, calling intelligence reports “fake news”. Trump siding with Putin is just the latest example of the president caving to the authoritarian Russian leader, including rejecting the US Intelligence Community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, giving Russia exactly what it wanted in the Middle East by abruptly withdrawing from Syria and escalating tensions with Iran, and encouraging Russia to assert itself in Afghanistan and the Middle East, at the expense of U.S. influence in the region.
“It’s unconscionable that Donald Trump would sit by and do nothing in response to credible intelligence that Russia offered bounties on American service members,” said Rep. John Schneck, D-Bangor, Maine State House Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, and veteran who served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during the Vietnam War. “As a veteran, I’m appalled that Trump is putting Americans in harm’s way by capitulating to authoritarians like Putin. It’s past time for Washington Republicans, including Susan Collins, to take meaningful action to hold Trump accountable. Our US troops, and the American people, deserve answers.”