PLUMMER, IDAHO — President Donald Trump confirmed this week that he did not raise reports of Russian bounties on American troops during last week’s phone call with President Vladimir Putin, suggesting U.S. intelligence on the matter was “fake news.” An entire month has gone by since The New York Times first reported that U.S. intelligence officials concluded the Kremlin’s military intelligence unit offered to pay Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan to kill American troops.
The Administration has not given a straight answer about the President’s briefing on the bounties. The White House told congressional lawmakers the intelligence was included in the President’s daily brief in late February. Contradicting those statements, Trump claimed this week that the bounty intelligence “never reached my desk” because intelligence community officials “didn’t think it was real,” adding: “If it reached my desk, I would have done something about it.” At a White House briefing last week, Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that the bounty
intelligence “is unverified still to this day,” claiming there are “dissenting opinions within the intel community.”
Paulette Jordan, candidate for U.S. Senate said, “We know there are dissenting opinions, and the families of our American troops deserve to have their questions answered. How is it that Risch has had so little to say about these disturbing reports? Let alone take action as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to call hearings on the matter. Risch has a very bad habit of skirting his responsibility as a U.S. Senator and neglecting his constitutional oversight duties as a member of Congress. He’s not supposed to take orders from the White House. We all know Risch’s position that it is “not his job” to question the President. Wrong. It is the job of every senator to act as a co-equal branch of the U.S. government to check and balance the system.”
Paulette raises some straightforward questions for Senator Risch, “Is Jim Risch more concerned about his relationship with Donald Trump than he is with getting to the bottom of what happened? What specifically is “grossly inaccurate” in stories independently verified by several major news organizations, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press? The safety of American soldiers is a bipartisan concern. Other GOP Senate members have spoken up – why not Risch?”
“Idahoans have had about enough of Risch’s subservience. His behavior is a danger to our democracy. If the reports are largely inaccurate, like he says in parroting the White House, he should get to work to set the record straight. He can’t just “fake news” these concerns away. These allegations continue to weigh heavily on the minds of all Americans. Wake up, Risch,” Paulette concluded.
# Former Idaho Rep. Paulette Jordan is running to unseat Sen. Jim Risch. Jordan’s message is “People First Policy,” emphasizing health care, economic recovery, stewardship of land, and increased federal fiscal discipline and accountability. More information about Jordan’s campaign for the U.S. Senate can be found at her website www.pauletteforsenate.com.
Contact: Autumn Dawn Monteau