White House briefs top Republicans – but not Democrats – on Russia bounty row

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Top White House officials briefed seven House Republicans on Monday on the ongoing controversy surrounding an alleged Russian bounty scheme for Afghani militants to kill US soldiers.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and national security adviser Robert O’Brien met with the seven GOP lawmakers on Monday afternoon in the White House Situation Room to discuss the Russia bounty allegations.

Attending the meeting were House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, Foreign Affairs ranking member Michael McCaul, Armed Services ranking member Mac Thornberry, and four others in prominent national security and leadership positions.

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both demanded briefings for their respective chambers on what Donald Trump and his intelligence community knew about the alleged Russian bounty programme and why it wasn’t reported all the way up the chain of command to the president and his top advisers such as Vice President Mike Pence, if that is indeed the case.

“We need to know whether or not President Trump was told this information, and if so, when,” Mr Schumer said in a statement on Monday.

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