[COMMENTARY] Pompeo Discussed Bounties With Russian Foreign Minister, Where Was Trump?
For more than a month, Americans have known about bounties Vladimir Putin paid to the Taliban to kill American troops. Despite repeated questions from the media (who have essentially given up), Donald Trump first said he knew nothing about them, then falsely claimed he wasn’t briefed. He tried blaming the Obama Administration, then kept moving the goalposts as more information was revealed; when it became known that the intelligence had been included in his daily briefing and aides tried desperately to get him to pay attention, he said he didn’t read it. When John Bolton said in his book that he made sure to tell Trump to his face, knowing he never reads the daily briefing, Trump leaned on his favorite word, calling it a “hoax”. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has presented conspiracy theories rather than just admit he ignores the briefing. Trump himself has admitted to speaking to Putin several times, but not about the bounties.
Now comes word that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not only knew about what was happening, he was the one who warned the Russian foreign minister about what was happening. Which leads to the question: if Pompeo was having discussions with Russia regarding the murders of American troops, why wasn’t Trump?
According to the new information uncovered by the New York Times, “Mr. Pompeo’s warning is the first known rebuke from a senior American official to Russia over the bounties program….The action indicates that Mr. Pompeo, who previously served as Mr. Trump’s C.I.A. director, believes the intelligence warranted a stern message. Mr. Pompeo delivered the warning in a call on July 13 with the minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, choosing to do so during a conversation that, officially, was about an unrelated topic.”
True to form, Trump has kept his focus on the delivery system of the news of the bounties, rather than the bounties themselves or the true collateral damage of dead American troops for pay by Putin, once again placing his loyalty to Russia, not America.
“The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party.” he rage-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!”
Trump also famously said the coronavirus was a hoax as well. What did he know about these bounties, when did he know it, and why didn’t he do anything about it?