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Bolton: Trump’s denial of Russian intelligence briefing shows that his “fundamental focus” is not on US security

“The fact that the President feels compelled to tweet about the news here shows that what is his fundamental objective, it is not the security of our forces, but if it seems that he is not paying attention. So he is saying well that no one has told me therefore you can’t blame me, “Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper about” State of the Union “.

The former official added that he believed that Trump’s motivation to deny a briefing was “because it looks bad if the Russians are paying to kill Americans and we are not doing anything about it.”

“So what’s the presidential reaction? To say it’s not my responsibility, nobody told me about it,”

; Bolton said.

Bolton’s comments add to a growing list of criticisms that the former Trump collaborator has made these days. Bolton, who wrote a very critical book on Trump and his administration, told Tapper that the President’s denial on Sunday “is part of the problem with Trump’s decision-making process in the national security area. It is not related to reality he is dealing with. “

“It’s about his personal position,” he said of Trump, noting that if intelligence reports are true, this “is one of the most serious issues … that has arisen in the Trump administration.”

Last Sunday, Trump said in a Tweet that “there have not been many attacks” on US troops by Taliban fighters, as evidence that intelligence – reported for the first time by the New York Times and confirmed by CNN – could be “fake”.

The tweet went beyond Saturday’s White House statement, which did not deny the validity of the report, but instead claimed that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were not informed “of the alleged Russian-sized intelligence”.

CNN previously reported that Russian intelligence officers for military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as a reward if they killed US or British troops there, according to that source. American intelligence concluded months ago that Russian military intelligence offered gifts amidst peace talks, according to the Times in its report.

Trump was informed of the intelligence findings and the White House National Security Council held a meeting in late March, according to the Times, citing officials who were informed of the issue.

This story has been updated with John Bolton’s further comments on “State of the Union”.

CNN’s Sarah Westwood contributed to this report.

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