House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement criticizing President Trump after the pair took part in a classified briefing on reports of Russian bounties paid on U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
What they're saying: "Our Armed Forces would be better served if President Trump spent more time reading his daily briefing and less time planning military parades and defending relics of the Confederacy," the pair wrote.
- “Force protection is a primary purpose of intelligence. It should have the same importance to the Commander-in-Chief. Any reports of threats on our troops must be pursued relentlessly."
- “These reports are coming to light in the context of the President being soft on Vladimir Putin when it comes to NATO, the G7, Crimea, Ukraine and the ongoing undermining of the integrity of our elections."
Context: Trump has denied that he was briefed on the matter before it was first reported by the New York Times last week. On Wednesday, he tweeted that the reports are a "Fake News Media Hoax started to slander me & the Republican Party."
- A follow-up story from the Times reported that the intelligence was included in February in the written President's Daily Brief in February, which Trump has been reported to seldom read.
- National security adviser Robert O'Brien said Wednesday that a career CIA officer made the right decision not to verbally brief Trump on the reports, though he noted that the Pentagon was informed and took "protective measures" to look after U.S. soldiers.