The Washington Post‘s David Ignatius said he did his own research into the explosive story that President Donald Trump knew about the Russian bounty on American soldiers for months. He claimed his research found that military leaders at the Pentagon were “pounding on the door” to get Trump to address the situation — with no results.
Ignatius spoke on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, as Raw Story reported, where he revealed he decided to look further into the story.
“It’s clear in late March you had senior U.S commanders, senior civilian intelligence officials, in effect pounding on the door of the White House saying we need to do something about this, 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,” Ignatius said, basing his research on bombshell reporting from The New York Times.
Ignatius added that, even though the White House has certainly been made aware of the situation, there has still not been a public response.
“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?” he asked.
He went on to state that, regardless of whether or not the president was aware of the situation, it looks bad for a government leader. On one hand, he said, if Trump wasn’t warned before publicly calling for Russia to be invited to the G8, it’s a failure of government.
Ignatius also mused that American commanders are likely angry at the administration for failing to address the situation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The New York Times reported last week that Russian military intelligence offered Taliban-linked militants a bounty for killing American soldiers. This reportedly took place even while Afghanistan and the U.S. were in the middle of peace talks.
While some of the details on the situation aren’t clear, what is known is that some bounty money was paid out. Recent reporting suggests that several service members, at least, died as a result of the bounties.
The president was reportedly briefed on the situation in March and was provided with a range of options for addressing the shocking allegations. However, insiders say that he declined to make a decision and has continued to act friendly with Putin.
The White House has denied that Trump was given the intelligence in March.