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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked top intelligence leaders on Monday to brief House members on reports that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The state of play: While President Trump has denied being briefed on the alleged intelligence, press reports indicate that he was aware of it earlier this year and that the National Security Council discussed the issue at an interagency meeting in late March.

What she's saying: "The questions that arise are: was the president briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed," Pelosi wrote to director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel.

  • "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."
  • "The president now denies being briefed, but the Administration has not denied the existence of the intelligence."

Read Pelosi's letter.

Go deeper

Cliff Sims returns to the Trump administration

Cliff Sims, a former Trump aide who wrote a bestselling memoir of his time in the White House which resulted in a legal dispute with the president, has returned to the Trump administration in a senior role.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has brought Sims in to serve as his senior adviser, per two sources with direct knowledge of the decision.

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.