House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week” said it was “totally outrageous” that President Donald Trump did not respond to reports that Russian intelligence officers offered to pay Taliban militants to target American troops, calling the lack of a U.S. response “appalling.”
“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score,” Pelosi said Sunday in an interview ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
The New York Times first reported on Friday that a Russian military unit secretly offered to pay Taliban militants to kill American troops in Afghanistan, and that Trump was briefed on the findings.
Trump on Sunday denied the New York Times report and demanded the paper reveal its sources.
“This is totally outrageous. You would think that the minute he heard of this the president would want to know more instead of denying anything,” Pelosi said. “Now he says it’s fake news. Why would he say that, why wouldn’t he say, ‘Let’s look into it?'”
While Pelosi said top congressional leaders had not been briefed on the matter and were not aware of it, she said they would be seeking answers, and try to determine if Trump was briefed.
“Something is very wrong here. But this must have an answer,” she said.
A military official confirmed to ABC News that Russian intelligence officers offered to pay the militants to kill American service members in Afghanistan. The official didn’t know if Trump was briefed but said senior US officials were aware of the Russian effort for months.