Former spy chief Richard Grenell defended President Trump from media critiques about his handling of intelligence about alleged Russian bounties on the heads of U.S. troops.
Grenell, who oversaw the 17-member U.S. intelligence community from Feb. 20 to May 26, clashed with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Twitter on Friday after the State of the Union moderator chided Trump for claiming ignorance of the reports of a Russian spy unit paying Taliban fighters to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan.
“You haven’t seen the intel,” Grenell tweeted. “You don’t know what you are talking about. Your network told Americans that Kim Jung Un was incapacitated and brain dead for weeks. And you said you had intel on it. Your intel ‘sources’ have agendas. And so do you.”
He was responding to a tweet from Tapper about Trump’s comments about the alleged bounties.
“‘It was never brought to my attention.’ Not true. ‘I think it’s another Russia hoax.’ Not true. Yes there is disagreement among Intel Community about GRU ‘bounties’ but there’s IC consensus that Russia is arming and funding the Taliban. Who are killing US servicemembers,” Tapper said.
You haven’t seen the intel. You don’t know what you are talking about.
Your network told Americans that Kim Jung Un was incapacitated and brain dead for weeks. And you said you had intel on it.
Your intel “sources” have agendas. And so do you. https://t.co/F9LxIaI3zr
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 1, 2020
When the alleged bounties came to light, the White House said Trump was not briefed on the matter. Several members of the Trump administration said the commander in chief was not briefed because the information was not fully vetted.
The Pentagon said late last month they have been unable to find “no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.”
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