WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Members of both parties have now been briefed on reports that Russia paid bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers but lawmakers say they need to see more.
After their briefing at the White House Tuesday morning, a group of House Democrats says the intelligence is clear.
“Russia is definitely helping the Taliban kill Americans,” Representative Brad Sherman, D-California, said.
And Congressman Brad Sherman says there is strong evidence the Kremlin offered the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers.
“White House knew there was that substantial possibility,” Sherman said.
Sherman and other Democrats says the White House must hold the Kremlin accountable but White House officials say it’s too early to draw conclusions.
“It’s a piece of intelligence information that had no consensus, had not been verified. Still has not been verified,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
Congressman Adam Schiff says from the intel he’s seen, he believes the US should impose new Russian sanctions.
“I don’t think the President should continue cozying up to this dictator. He is not our friend, he does not wish us well,” Representative Adam Schiff, D-California, said.
But Both Sherman and Schiff say there are still a lot of details they don’t know.
They’re calling on intel officials to brief the full House.
Schiff wants to know whether President Trump was briefed on the matter. The president said publicly, he wasn’t.
“You would hope that would be something brought to the President’s attention,” Schiff said.
“It’s too important to play politics with,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said.
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy says despite Democrats’ criticism, this White House has been appropriately tough on Russia.
“Let’s be very clear, nobody on this side thinks Russia’s good players,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy says if the bounty allegations are confirmed there will be severe consequences.