White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is asked about the alleged Russian plot to pay bounties for dead U.S. soldiers at Wednesday’s White House press briefing.
QUESTION: Kayleigh, thank you so much. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said that the intelligence about the alleged Russia plot was being taken so seriously that U.S. allies were alerted and that it could impact military tactics. So, how is that a hoax? MCENANY: Well, as I mentioned yesterday, what happens when any intelligence comes in unverified, if there is any way that it could affect American troops or allies, it is immediately communicated on the ground to ensure that troops and commanders and generals can make the best decisions tactically speaking. So, that’s the way it’s done. But what I would say is at the same time, until there’s a strategic decision for the president to make, until it is verified, it is not briefed up to the president of the United States. That’s how intelligence works. QUESTION: Is he angry or frustrated or upset about the fact that he was not in the loop on this, when members of Congress were briefed and U.S. allies were briefed? MCENANY: No, the president believes that–and has great faith in Ambassador O’Brien and the others who made the decision that this shouldn’t be risen to his desk. It was a career CIA officer with more than 30 years tenure who made the decision not to bring it up, and the national security advisor agreed with that decision. She’s an excellent officer and does great work and made the decision not to bring it up. It was the right decision to make. And at this moment as I speak to you, it is still unverified.
Watch the full briefing: