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Senators Call For Investigation Over Reported Russian Bounty Offers On U.S. Troops

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York say Congress should investigate reports that Russians offered bounties to Afghan militants who killed U.S. troops.

The New York Times reports President Trump failed to act after an intelligence briefing on the bounty scheme in March.

Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says if intelligent agencies failed to inform Trump of the bounties – or if Trump failed to act – it would constitute a betrayal of trust.

“These reports are absolutely shocking, chilling. Russians putting bounty on the heads of our troops means the Russians are once again playing us. Because Trump has trusted Putin, believed him rather than our own intelligence community.”

Gillibrand is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Military Personnel subcommittee.

“I’ve been deeply concerned about the President's response to Russia for a very long time. Time and time again, he refuses to stand up to Putin; he refuses to actually be responsible towards our allies. But instead, he constantly is standing with autocrats and other leaders like Putin who do not share our values.”

Trump denies being briefed about the bounty scheme, calling it “possibly another fabricated Russian Hoax.” He says his intelligence agencies did not find the information to be credible. 

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.