While Democratic Party leaders are seizing on allegations that President Donald Trump failed to act on intelligence reports that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban for the death of U.S. troops, at least one official is being accused of taking it too far.
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), an Afghanistan veteran, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) might think she is attacking the White House, but she is actually going after “career intelligence officers” at the heart of the matter, as Fox News reported.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has demanded answers in the days since these reports first surfaced publicly.
“Decided not to brief him”
Banks, however, interpreted her reaction as an apparently misguided effort to saddle Trump with the allegations made in the uncorroborated report.
According to national security adviser Robert O’Brien, the CIA official in charge of briefing Trump “decided not to brief him because it was unverified intelligence.”
For that reason, Banks told America’s Newsroom co-host Leland Vittert during a recent Fox News Channel interview that the actual target of Pelosi’s heated rhetoric might not be who she thinks it is.
“I don’t know if Speaker Pelosi realizes it or not but, she is not attacking President Trump, she’s attacking career intelligence officers who determined that this intelligence didn’t rise to the level of being reputable enough to brief the president on it,” he said.
The congressman went on to warn of the potential ramifications of the president acting on “bad intelligence” that had not been fully verified.
“They made this call”
“At the end of the day, we have to allow our intelligence officials to do their job,” Banks said. “Trust the men and women who serve to protect America every day and the intelligence community. They made this call. Not President Trump, and not appointed political officers in the administration.”
To be sure, the entire narrative surrounding reports of alleged Russian bounties is convoluted, which Banks said only intensified the partisan backlash.
“This story is getting really confusing at this point,” he said. “It was published a week ago in The New York Times and at that point, the left in collusion with The New York Times were attacking President Trump because somehow, he was turning a blind eye to these bounties on our troops because he was cozying up to Russia and Putin.”
Once again, Democrats are quick to tie the Trump administration to claims of Russian corruption and atrocities. While the latest claims demand the proper investigation, casting blame at this stage in the game is sure to be premature.