WaPo Reporter: Pentagon ‘Pounded On The Door’ For WH To Act On Russia’s Bounties

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour / Public Domain


Washington Post reported David Ignatius said Pentagon officials were trying to get a response in late March.

Longtime Washington Post political columnist David Ignatius said on Monday his reporting revealed that Pentagon officials were “pounding on the door” of the White House to get the Trump administration to respond to intelligence that Russia was offering bounties for the deaths of U.S. troops.

  • Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Ignatius said his follow up to The New York Times’ initial reporting on the issue made clear that senior U.S. commanders and senior civilian intelligence officials in late March were “in effect pounding on the door of the White House saying we need to do something about this.”
  • Ignatius said officials were saying “we need to come to a conclusion about what damage the Russian program is doing, we need to reassess our programs in Afghanistan and they couldn’t get an answer.”

“To this day there’s not an answer, there’s not a real response. Was this because the president was briefed and did nothing or because he wasn’t briefed because people were afraid to give him bad news and kept it to themselves? I don’t know.”

  • The veteran reporter added that whether President Trump was briefed or not is irrelevant “in terms of the breakdown in terms of the way the government is supposed to work.”
  • Ignatius said, “In some ways, it’s almost worse the department didn’t tell him, ‘Mr. President while you’re encouraging Russia to rejoin the G8, we should mention Russia is putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers.’ If they didn’t tell him that, it’s a stunner.”
  • He added: “I think people are steamed up about it, there’s nothing that would make American commanders angrier than the idea that their soldiers had targets on their back because of the actions of somebody that the president was still speaking of as a prospective ally.”

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