Posts tagged with "ABC’s This Week"

Mutiny on the bounties: Trump balks at briefing House members on Russian perfidy

June 30, 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for the Trump Administration to brief all House members immediately about allegations that surfaced on June 27–detailing that Russians have been paying Afghan militants to assassinate U.S. soldiers, Politico reports.

Most recently, President Donald Trump has claimed that he knows nothing about the disclosures—and that he and Vice President Mike Pence never have been briefed on the matter by U.S. intelligence agencies. He has not said that he intends to follow up on the accusations against Russia and, by extension, against President Vladimir Putin—which he does not believe to be credible.

However, The New York Times has countered that story, saying that senior White House and intelligence officials knew about the bounty allegations since at least March but took no action.

Indeed, the Times has reported that Trump was briefed on the matter and that it was included in his Presidential Daily Brief, but Trump denied ever learning of the intelligence and late Sunday said his leaders in the intelligence community told him it wasn’t credible.

“The questions that arise are: Was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed? Congress and the country need answers now,” Pelosi wrote in her letter to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel. “I therefore request an interagency brief for all House Members immediately. Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable.”

Since the news reports emerged, Politico reports, Democrats and some Republicans have been demanding details from the Administration. Early Monday, congressional aides indicated no briefing had been set up for the House intelligence, armed services or foreign affairs committee. It’s unclear if the Gang of Eight—the leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the intelligence committee—will be briefed, but as of Monday morning there was no meeting scheduled, per a congressional source.

The new allegations —which The New York Times and The Washington Post reported may have led to the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan—have once again brought Trump’s relationship with Russia under scrutiny.

Senior House Democrats were furious with the reports, which first surfaced Saturday. Pelosi told ABC ‘s ‘This Week” on Sunday: “This is as bad as it gets.”

“If reports are true that Russia offered a bounty on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Trump wasn’t briefed, that’s a problem,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) tweeted Sunday. “What will it take to get Trump to abandon the fiction that Putin is our friend?”

“Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP,” Trump said. “Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!”

Democrats, however, hammered the president over the bounties.

“It’s sickening that American soldiers have been killed as a result of Russian bounties on their heads, and the Commander in Chief didn’t do a thing to stop it,” Representatuve Max Rose (D-N.Y.), a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, told Politico.

Research contact: @politico

Senator Bernie Sanders defends the ‘Dreamers’

January 10, 2018

Americans (yes, including Republicans!) are overwhelmingly—by an 81% to 15% margin—backing efforts to keep “Dreamers” in the United States, based on results of a Marist poll released last month.

And it’s not just the U.S. electorate: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) showed his stripes on television last weekend.

The Dreamers continue to gain backing: The poll finds that citizenship for the Dreamers is the most popular option chosen by respondents in each of the three major parties:

  • Democrats at 92% (74% citizenship, 18% legal status, 5% deportation);
  • Independents at 82% (57% citizenship, 25% legal status, 14% deportation); and
  • Republicans at 67% (40% citizenship, 27% legal status; 29% deportation).

However, President Donald Trump still is refusing to relent on his intention to deport the roughly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants—most of them, Mexican by birth and between the ages of 15 and 30 —who are continuing their education in the United States.

That is, unless he gets the wall he believes will halt illegal entry into America from Latin America.

On December 29, Trump tweeted: “The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!”

During budget negotiations, Trump demanded $18 billion to construct more than 700 miles of barriers along the border with Mexico. In a planning meeting with aides at Camp David last weekend, the POTUS commented, ““The wall is going to happen or we’re not going to have DACA.”

 Senator Bernie Sanders fought back on behalf of the Dreamers. “I am not sure why President Trump wants to shut down the government over a multi-billion dollar wall that no one wants, is not needed and will not be paid for by Mexico. What the American people do want, in overwhelming numbers, is to provide legal protection to 800,000 Dreamers and a path toward citizenship for them.”

In a statement distributed by his office on January 7, Sanders has called on Congress “to immediately fix the crisis the president precipitated when he ended protections for Dreamers in September.”

Sanders told George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week, aired on the same date, “We are in a position where some 800,000 young people – young people who were raised in this country, young people who are in school, who are working in the U.S. military, now are living in extraordinary anxiety about whether or not they’re going to lose legal status and be subject to deportation. This is what the president precipitated. We have got to deal with that decision.”

Sanders called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act immediately and eventually to move to comprehensive immigration reform.

Research contact: Josh_Miller-Lewis@sanders.senate.gov