Trump Was Briefed In February On Russian Bounties That Killed Americans — He’s Done Nothing

30 Jun

Despite the White House’s denials, new reporting indicates that Trump was briefed in writing in February on Russian bounties paid to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops. Either he knew and did nothing, or he ignored the briefing and did nothing.

Trump was briefed in writing in late February on Russian bounties paid to kill American troops.

New York Times: “American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.”

Top White House officials were reportedly aware in early 2019 of Russia secretly offering bounties to the Taliban, and briefed Trump at the time.

Associated Press: “Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.”

Associated Press: “The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.”

Trump is consistently unprepared and has so often been outplayed by Putin and other leaders that it has posed a national security threat.

CNN: “In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.”

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MEMO: “Exploding”

30 Jun

MEMORANDUM

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: DNC War Room

DATE: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

RE: “Exploding”


The DNC War Room today released a television ad, “Exploding,” to highlight to critical swing voters how coronavirus is exploding again across the country because of President Trump. America is three months into this crisis, and last week the United States hit a single-day record high of more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases, with Arizona, Texas and Florida reporting their highest case numbers yet.

It didn’t have to be so bad. But Trump lied about the virus early on, saying, “it’s going to disappear.” He wasted critical time to mitigate the outbreak by refusing to push China on its coronavirus response and delayed taking action to mitigate the crisis, in an effort to not upset Beijing and secure a limited trade deal that has largely gone unfulfilled.

The Trump campaign is running ads about being tough on China, but Trump’s failure to promptly address coronavirus, lest he upset China, is maybe the most disastrous example of a president getting played by a foreign country, leading to a total catastrophe at home.

Now coronavirus is raging stronger than ever. More than 125,000 American lives have been lost, 20 million jobs destroyed, the country is in recession and the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases. Trump put himself and his political fortunes first. He put the health and economic well-being of the American people last, and we continue to suffer the consequences.

Coronavirus is spiking.

  • Trump’s failed coronavirus response has led to a record surge in new infections, and forced some states to pause reopening plans.

  • New coronavirus cases hit a daily record high last week of more than 40,000 cases, and the true number of infections could be 10 times higher than the confirmed case count.

  • Seven states reached record highs in new cases over the weekend, and only two states are reporting a decline in cases.

At the time it mattered the most, Trump failed to take action to prevent coronavirus.

Trump praised China while the Chinese government pulled one over him.

  • Trump was so eager to get a bad trade deal that he repeatedly praised President Xi for his leadership and refused to demand accountability.

    • TRUMP: “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

    • TRUMP: “Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus.”

    • TRUMP: “No, I think President Xi is working very, very hard. I spoke to him. He’s working very hard. I think he’s doing a very good job.”

  • And as the extent of the outbreak became more clear, Trump continued to defend China’s handling of the coronavirus.

    • TRUMP: “We have a great trade deal. And we’d like to keep it, they’d like to keep it, and the relationship is good.”

    • TRUMP: “As to whether or not their numbers are accurate, I’m not an accountant from China.”

    • TRUMP: “We did a trade deal and everybody was very happy… I’m making a trade deal with China, of course I’m going to be complimentary.”

Trump got played by China on both the trade deal and coronavirus.

  • Trump signed a “phase one” trade agreement with China that failed to address the structural issues that sparked his trade war in the first place. It only secured vague pledges to buy U.S. products that haven’t panned out, and won’t boost growth.

  • Trump’s “phase one” trade deal failed to boost purchases of U.S. exports, it failed to even stop the bleeding by getting exports back to where they were before his damaging trade war. And China won’t come close to purchasing the $50 billion a year in U.S. agriculture that Trump promised.

Trump’s failure of leadership is hurting America.

  • As a result of Trump’s failed leadership, more than 125,000 Americans are dead and our country leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases.

  • The economy is in recession. The unemployment rate reached the highest since the Great Depression. Nearly 20 million Americans are unemployed. Black and Hispanic workers have disproportionately suffered from job losses during the pandemic.

  • The Trump administration botched its management of the Paycheck Protection Program, preventing small firms and businesses from getting timely aid to help weather the pandemic, while large corporations got loans. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed for good, and more than 40% of Black small businesses have had to shut down.

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DNC Veterans and Military Families Council on Trump’s Failure to Respond to Russian Bounties on American Troops

30 Jun

DNC Veterans and Military Families Council Chair retired U.S. Navy Lt. Jan Donatelli and Vice Chairs former U.S. Army CPT Terron Sims and U.S. Navy veteran Leo Cruz released the following statement:

“The grave problem America faces is that Donald Trump bows to tyrants like Vladamir Putin. For several months, President Trump and his administration have sat on corroborated intelligence that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops, a conclusion that reportedly, and tragically, has been borne out. Trump’s failure to take action and his betrayal of American troops makes him a national security threat. Enough is enough. We must restore civility, trust, and competence to the White House by electing Joe Biden as our next president and commander in chief of the United States.”

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DNC WAR ROOM RELEASES NEW TELEVISION AD: “Exploding”

30 Jun

The DNC War Room today released a television ad, “Exploding,” to highlight to critical swing voters how coronavirus is exploding again across the country because of President Trump.

The Trump campaign is running ads about being tough on China, but Trump’s failure to promptly address coronavirus, lest he upset China, is maybe the most disastrous example of a president getting played by a foreign country, leading to a total catastrophe at home.

“More than 125,000 deaths, 20 million jobs lost, and the worst recession in generations. It didn’t have to be this bad. Trump ignored warnings, downplayed the crisis, and put his joke of a trade deal ahead of the American people. Now we’re paying the price,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “He put himself and his political fortunes first, and the health and well-being of the American people last.”

WATCH HERE:

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DNC Statement On Trump Campaign Lawsuit in Pennsylvania

30 Jun

DNC Spokesperson Maddie McComb released the following statement after the Trump campaign sued the state of Pennsylvania over mail ballot drop-off boxes: 

“This lawsuit is yet another brazen attempt by Donald Trump and his allies to limit Pennsylvanians’ access to voting — but Democrats will continue fighting to ensure Pennsylvanians can safely and easily exercise their right to participate in our democracy. The truth is that Trump and nearly all his cronies and lackeys vote by mail — but they would rather spread misinformation about voting by mail because they want to prevent the rest of us from using the same process. Pennsylvanians see this lawsuit for what it is: a blatant attempt to suppress the voice of the voters, and they’ll hold Trump accountable for it.”

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Trump Caves to Russia — Again

30 Jun

Despite the White House’s spin, it’s clear that Trump has failed to protect American troops by repeatedly caving to Russia and allowing the Kremlin to expand its footprint in the Middle East. For years, Trump has given Russia exactly what it wanted in the Middle East. And now we’ve learned that after Russia offered Taliban-linked militants bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Trump did nothing to stop it or punish Russia for its actions.

At today’s White House press briefing, McEnany lied about Trump’s failure to support our troops or stand up to Russia.

MCENANY: “There’s no stronger advocate for our service men and women than President Trump.”

MCENANY: “This president has been extremely strong on Russia.”

In reality, Trump caved to Russia repeatedly in his Middle East policy, and now American service members are believed to have been killed as a result of Russian-paid bounties.

Washington Post: “Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.”

Trump already gave Russia what it wanted with his abrupt withdrawal from Syria, escalation of tensions with Iran, and election-driven withdrawal from Afghanistan.

New York Times: “In Syria, Russia Is Pleased to Fill an American Void”

Washington Post: “Russia stands to benefit as Middle East tensions spike after Soleimani killing”

Foreign Policy: “Observers worry that if [the] United States pulls out of Afghanistan without cementing a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government, Moscow’s outsize influence will strengthen the Taliban’s hand.”

As president, Trump encouraged Russia to assert itself in Afghanistan and the Middle East, at the expense of U.S. influence in the region.

TRUMP: “Russia should be fighting. The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there… But why isn’t Russia there?”

TRUMP: “Do we want to stay there for another 19 years? I don’t think so. So at a certain point, other countries—and that includes Russia and it includes Iran and Turkey and Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and India… ‘All right, maybe we go home now. Let these other countries handle it.’”

TRUMP: “Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. So they’ll come in for their border, and they’ll fight. They may bring partners in. They could bring Russia in. And I say, ‘Welcome to it.’

Instead of standing up to Putin, Trump repeated Russian propaganda calling this past weekend’s reports “fake news.”

Russian Embassy: “We have paid attention to another piece of fake news, launched in the media space by the #US intelligence community.”

TRUMP: “Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News @nytimes.”

Trump and the White House are now casting doubt on the intelligence, which American officials already briefed our allies on.

New York Times: “In addition to saying he was never ‘briefed or told’ about the intelligence report — a formulation that went beyond the White House denial of any formal briefing — Mr. Trump also cast doubt on the assessment’s credibility, which statements from his subordinates had not.”

New York Times: “They said the intelligence had been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.”

MCENANY: “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 regards to the veracity of what’s being reported.”

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Trump Wants To Take Health Care From Millions With No Replacement Plan

30 Jun

Trump is fighting to overturn the Affordable Care Act, during a pandemic and the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, with no plan to replace it. Trump’s only plan is to take health care away from millions of Americans.

Trump is trying to overturn the ACA, along with its preexisting condition protections, with no replacement plan for any of its provisions.

Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump has offered no plan to replace these, or any, provisions of the law. He has supported legislation to water down protections for people with preexisting conditions, and his administration has issued new rules promoting plans that allow insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher prices to sick patients.”

Secretary Azar said the Trump administration does not have the “exact details” of an ACA replacement plan while lying about protecting people with preexisting conditions.

AZAR: “Well, we have made very clear what we’re going to do, which is protect those with preexisting conditions through mechanisms that genuinely can protect them, real insurance, and have financing that meets the needs of people the way they want them met, not with a one-size-fits-all solution. The exact details will be dependent on the — frankly, the composition of Congress if and when the Supreme Court does strike down all or a large part of Obamacare.”

Kayleigh McEnany tried to blame Democrats for not having a plan, but Democrats aren’t the ones trying to take health care away from millions of Americans, and today they’re considering a bill to improve the ACA.

MCENANY: “It’s on Democrats to come forward with a solution.”

CNN: “House Democrats seek to enhance Obamacare ahead of Trump push to dismantle the law”

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DNC on SCOTUS Striking Down Louisiana’s Restrictive Abortion Law

30 Jun

DNC Chair Tom Perez, DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford, and DNC Vice Chair and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld abortion rights in Louisiana: 

“It’s a good day for freedom. Again, Republicans tried to attack access to safe and legal abortion at the Supreme Court, and again they were shot down. This critical victory is the result of tireless grassroots organizing and advocacy. But our battle is far from over. Republican leaders will continue to go after the rights of women and anyone seeking reproductive care to make decisions about their own bodies, their own families, and their own futures. In fact, two of today’s votes against abortion rights came from Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. Democrats are doing everything in our power to flip the Senate, defeat Donald Trump, and make sure Roe remains the law of the land. And we will continue fighting to protect every American’s right to reproductive freedom by electing Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.”

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Trump’s Failed Response Led To Record Surge In New Cases

30 Jun

Trump’s failed coronavirus response has led to a record surge in new cases and inadequate contact tracing to contain the virus. While Trump protects himself, he has left the American people vulnerable to the virus.

Dr. Fauci said contact tracing is “not going well” after the Trump administration failed to provide an adequate national testing strategy.

CNBC: “There’s just a handful of interventions proven to curb the spread of the coronavirus. One of them is contact tracing, and ‘it’s not going well,’ White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.”

CNBC: “In lieu of federal leadership on tracing, underfunded and overwhelmed local health departments have scrambled to get the necessary systems in place, contact tracing specialists who previously spoke with CNBC said.”

Trump’s failed coronavirus response has led to a record surge in new infections. In fact, only two states are reporting a decline in cases.

Washington Post: “With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections”

CNN: “Only two US states are reporting a decline in new coronavirus cases compared to last week: Connecticut and Rhode Island. A rise was reported in a staggering 36 states, including Florida, which some experts have cautioned could be the next epicenter for infections.”

Trump continues to hold a different standard for protecting himself than he does for the rest of the country.

CNN: “President Donald Trump appears ready to move on from a still-raging coronavirus pandemic — skipping the first White House task force briefing in months and moving the event out of the White House itself. But the measures meant to protect him from catching the virus have scaled up dramatically.”

The Trump campaign reversed measures meant to encourage social distancing at his rally and Pence had more than 100 people perform for him without masks.

Washington Post: “In the hours before President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, his campaign directed the removal of thousands of ‘Do Not Sit Here, Please!’ stickers from seats in the arena that were intended to establish social distance between rallygoers, according to video and photos obtained by The Washington Post and a person familiar with the event.”

CNN: “A choir of more than 100 people performed without masks at a robustly attended event in Texas at the First Baptist Church in Dallas on Sunday that featured a speech by Vice President Mike Pence.”

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DNC on Trump Failing to Condemn Russia

29 Jun

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement on Trump failing to condemn Russia after reports that the country offered bounties to kill U.S. soldiers, just the latest example of Russia’s attempts to undermine American national security:

“He knew. He knew and he did nothing. Trump talks tough behind a keyboard but cowers under the resolute desk. Once again, he has put our nation in harm’s way, failing to hold Russia accountable and turning his back on every brave American in uniform. This weekend’s news is just the latest example of Trump’s glaring weakness on national security. Our troops deserve a leader who treats them with dignity and respect, not one who uses them as pawns to be slaughtered. That’s why in November, American voters will send Joe Biden to the White House and expel this sad and feckless excuse for a president.”

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