Representative Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Told Fox News Radio Tuesday that President Trump is unlikely to have been informed of intelligence that Russia has secretly offered gifts to Taliban-related militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan in due to the unverified nature of the information.
“I don’t think the president was informed,” said Kinzinger “The Brian Kilmeade Show.” “The shorter one made the decision when – keep in mind that is when the coronavirus pandemic is also starting – he skipped the problem to wait for more information.”
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The New York Times intelligence report sent shockwaves to Washington over the weekend. A senior US official told Fox News Monday that the National Security Council recently met to develop a “response menu” for Russian action in Afghanistan. However, a White House official said the president was not informed of the matter until “Friday after the NY Times reported unverified information.”
“What I know is that the fact that the president was informed or not, frankly, is irrelevant because the intelligence agencies still could not agree on this,” explained Kinzinger, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber that attended a White House briefing on the subject. “If that’s something, you have to have a big deal or at least [agreement] up to a point of significant confidence to be able to act.
“Otherwise, in theory, if it’s not true and you’re reacting against the Russians, think about the damage of that.”
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Kinzinger added that the information leak from the Times is more than likely that “it will dry up any trail that we are pursuing to get more information on this,” but urged lawmakers to resist politicizing the problem pending further information.
“I think where we are now, unfortunately, this has become a political problem,” he said. “Republicans and Democrats should both agree that if Russia is doing this, there must be harsh consequences. Instead, many people have taken this as a time to do politics with it and embarrass the president.”
Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin and Kristin Fisher contributed to this report.