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- Senior US officials believed President Trump posed a danger to national security after he “demeaned and denigrated” female leaders during phone calls with other heads of state, according to classified phone calls obtained by CNN.
Trump reportedly told former UK Prime Minister Theresa May that she was “a fool” and spineless in her approach to Brexit, NATO and immigration policy. He also told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was “stupid” and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians.
- Senior House Democrats left a White House briefing on Russian bounties disappointed on Tuesday, saying they were given “no substantive information” about allegations that the Kremlin paid Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops — and that President Donald Trump sat on the information for months.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who led a group of nearly a dozen Democrats to the White House early Tuesday, said Congress still needs to hear from the heads of various Intelligence agencies — not White House officials — on the stunning allegations. The Trump administration officials tasked with briefing the Democrats, Hoyer said, expressed their opinion of the allegations but didn’t share the underlying evidence.
- American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, which was among the evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence.
The disclosures further undercut White House officials’ claim that the intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump. In fact, the information was provided to him in his daily written brief in late February, two officials have said.
- President Trump has now been briefed on intelligence regarding Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday.
McEnany confirmed during a press briefing that Trump had been briefed on the matter but emphasized that there is still not a “consensus” in the intelligence community regarding the validity of the information.
- President Trump claimed early Wednesday that reports about suspected Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan were a “hoax” meant to damage him politically.
“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 @nytimes has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!”
- Rep. Steny Hoyer: “The President called this a hoax publicly. Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it was a hoax.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Russia should not be readmitted to the Group of Seven (G-7), breaking with President Trump who has repeatedly floated having Moscow attend the group’s summits. The suggestion comes as intelligence reports reveal Russia targeted US troops abroad.
- A federal judge ordered the Trump administration on Tuesday to stop enforcing an immigration rule that disqualifies most non-Mexican migrants from asylum at the U.S. southern border, saying the broad restriction was enacted unlawfully in the summer of 2019.
Sources: ABC News, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post