White House to brief Pelosi, McConnell on Russia-Taliban bounty plot

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WASHINGTON — Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be among a handful of powerful lawmakers briefed by the White House on Wednesday over the Russia-Taliban bounty plot, a new report says, as the fallout over the explosive report continues.

White House officials are preparing to brief the so-called “Gang of Eight,” a term referring to the leaders of Congress from both parties as well as the intelligence committees, who are regularly given briefings on classified information, according to a tweet by Politico’s senior reporter Jake Sherman.

Besides Pelosi (D-Calif.) and McConnell (R-Ky.) members of the bipartisan group include Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Virg.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence committee, and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif. ) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chair and ranking member of the House Intel committee

A New York Times report published Friday claimed the Kremlin offered Taliban militants bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. The White House has vehemently denied reports that President Trump knew about the information for months and have insisted the intelligence was deemed not credible by multiple government agencies.

A select number of Democratic lawmakers were briefed by the White House on the report on Tuesday but in a press conference afterward said they saw no information that indicated the plot was “a hoax.”

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers who gathered at the White House for a similar briefing on Monday said they were satisfied with the information given to them and re-emphasized what they said was Trump’s tough stance on Russia.



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