Nat’l Security Adviser: Trump Was Not Initially Briefed on Russian Bounties Because It Was ‘Uncorroborated’

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien came to President Donald Trump’s defense on Wednesday reiterating the administration’s claim that the president was not previously briefed on intelligence that said Russia placed bounties on American troops in Afghanistan.

O’Brien appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” to address reports Trump was briefed on the intelligence months ago. 

O’Brien called the story “unfortunate” on “multiple levels.” 

He went on to argue there is no one more concerned about the American people and armed forces than Trump. 

O’Brien also claimed no one has been tougher on Russia since the Cold War than Trump.

He then pivoted and said Trump was not initially briefed on the intelligence. 

“The president was not briefed because, at the time of these allegations, they were uncorroborated,” O’Brien said. 

Watch his comments below: 

Just before O’Brien’s interview, Trump issued a tweet slamming the New York Times for the publication’s reporting on the matter. 

“The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party,” Trump tweeted. “The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself. If the discredited [New York Times] has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!”

O’Brien noted the intelligence community did not reach a consensus on the intelligence.

According to reports, the National Security Agency dissented from other intelligence agencies and their assessments of the strength of the intelligence. 

The National Security Agency did not disagree with the central idea of Russia paying bounties to the Taliban movement to kill Americans. The disagreement could be attributed to institutional differences, according to experts. 

O’Brien signaled it will be difficult to “get to the bottom” of the issue because the story was leaked. 

He said if the information were to be correct, Trump had options readily available to respond. 

“If this information turned out to be true, and now we may never know, but if it turned out to be true, we had options ready to go and the president was ready to take strong action as he always is,” O’Brien said.

Check out his comments below: 

Trump issued another tweet following O’Brien’s interview. 

“‘No corroborating evidence to back reports.’ Department of Defense. Do people still not understand that this is all a made up Fake News Media Hoax started to slander me [and] the Republican Party,” Trump said.

He added, “I was never briefed because any info that they may have had did not rise to that level.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press briefing on Tuesday that Trump has now been officially briefed on these reports, as IJR previously reported.


  1. Diblert – Proof of the bounties, proof of collaboration, proof of anything? OH, you got this from WaPo. Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

  2. In other words, it was BS, concocted by BS artists in the Democrat party. More BS like the Russian Collusion. Democrat dirty tricks. They’ll do anything to win, lie, cheat, be as corrupt as possible.

  3. Just another attempt by Democrats to attack President Trump. They must get dizzy spinning stories.

  4. Apparently Trump saw the daily briefing book on Feb 27 with the Russian bounty story in it. However, Trump REALLY hates to read, so putting it in print in front of him is effectively the same as burying it in a landfill in Arkansas. He spent the day talking about his highly effective corona virus response, how there were only 15 cases and soon to be none, and how he was not getting enough recognition from the press for his good management of the virus.

    According to the Washington Post on Slate.Com.

  5. trumpuke THE TRAITOR is trying get as many of

    his lackies as possible to cover his TRAITOR ass for him.

    Too little late for Putin’s Pussy.

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