Rep. Kinzinger Tells Jim Acosta to 'Ask Steny Hoyer' Why Dems Didn't Come to Russia Bounty Briefing

Posted: Jul 01, 2020 11:45 AM
Rep. Kinzinger Tells Jim Acosta to 'Ask Steny Hoyer' Why Dems Didn't Come to Russia Bounty Briefing

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

UPDATE: Rep. Hoyer has finally received his briefing, and from what he heard, he maintains the Russia bounty report is "not a hoax."


House Foreign Affairs Committee member Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) explained on CNN this week that one reason the intelligence community may not have briefed President Trump on reports that Russia was bribing Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops was because of the pile of "conflicting evidence" they had. Would they really want to brief the president on alleged Russian bounties if they're not completely sure of their veracity?

"It's not a scandal of the president knew and he didn't do anything about it," Kinzinger explained. 

After a few repetitive questions from host Jim Acosta, the congressman reiterated that the president was not briefed on that particular subject.

"He wasn't briefed on it, that's for sure," Kinzinger said. "From what I'm told."

Acosta slightly altered his line of questioning.

"How is it that no Democratic lawmakers were briefed on this?" he asked. "Doesn't that politicize this entire situation when the Republicans in the House are briefed 

"You'll have to ask Steny Hoyer," Kinzinger replied. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked Hoyer, the Democratic Whip, if Democrats would like to join the briefing and he never received a reply. 

"As of our briefing, he made it clear that he hadn't heard back from Steny Hoyer," Kinzinger explained.

"The Democrats were offered and they didn't go," he maintained.

But Kinzinger noted that this should be a bipartisan issue.

“There are already those who are politicizing this issue, however we cannot let politics overshadow a truth that Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on: the Putin regime cannot be trusted," his joint statement with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) read, after attending the classified briefing. "If the intelligence review process verifies the reports, we strongly encourage the Administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable.” 

The Russian bounty report, initially published by the New York Times, was dismissed by President Trump as fake news.