Speaking from the Brady Briefing room Monday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called on the New York Times to "give back their Pulitzers" after getting another story wrong on Russia.
"The President is briefed on verified intelligence and again I would just point you back to the absolutely irresponsible decision of the New York Times to falsely report that he was briefed on something that he in fact was not briefed on and I really think it's time for the New York Times to step back and ask themselves why they've been wrong, so wrong, so often," she said about allegations Russia targeted U.S. troops through the Taliban. "It is inexcusable the failed Russia reporting of the New York Times and I think it's time that the New York Times and also the Washington Post, hand back their Pulitzers."
As far as why President Trump wasn't briefed on allegations the Russian government was paying members of the Taliban in Afghanistan to target and kill U.S. troops, which was reported by the New York Times over the weekend, McEnany explained.
"The U.S. receives thousands of reports a day on intelligence and they are subject to strict scrutiny. While the White House does no routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations the CIA director, NSA - National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm than neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence," McEnany said. "There is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations and in effect there are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regard to the veracity of what's being reported and the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated."
During an interview on Fox News Monday morning, former Deputy National Security Advisor KT McFarland weighed in on the story.
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who left his position four weeks ago, has also emphasized he never saw this kind of intelligence.
I never heard this. And it’s disgusting how you continue to politicize intelligence. You clearly don’t understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain. https://t.co/403X9AVGAC— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 27, 2020
You are basing a whole bunch of assumptions on an anonymous source from the NYT. https://t.co/GZnUN6Sx00— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 27, 2020
Stop politicizing intelligence. You don’t even know the facts. https://t.co/qbptcK2F4v— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 28, 2020
The story continues to fall apart.
DEVELOPING: An intelligence official with direct knowledge tells CBS News there was an intel collection report and "NSA assesses Report does not match well established and verifiiable Taliban and Haqqani practices" + "lack sufficient reporting to corroborate any links."— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 29, 2020