WASHINGTON, DC - After it was publicly reported that U.S. Intelligence concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and that President Trump was briefed on the matter in March, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and an ex officio member of the Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement:

“Once again it appears that President Trump has failed to stand up to Vladimir Putin. 

“President Trump continues to ignore Russian aggression while rewarding Putin with calls for Russia to be re-admitted to the G8 and reductions to our military deterrence posture in Germany.  President Trump’s weakness only emboldens our enemies and invites further aggression.

“The President has a range of responses available to him, including diplomacy and sanctions.  This Administration’s failure to take any meaningful action is disgraceful and makes our troops less safe.  The U.S. must hold accountable anyone who targets our troops.

“Time and again, President Trump has sided with Putin over U.S. Intelligence.  Now American troops may be targeted for Trump’s soft-on-Russia stance.

“The American people deserve answers.  What did President Trump and his cabinet know about this Russian-backed operation, when did they know it, and what, if anything, has been done in response?  And if the President wasn’t briefed in person or in writing, why not?  Since this was publicly reported 24 hours ago, what, if any, steps has the President taken?”