Washington (CNN) In response to reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan, the White House has denied that President Donald Trump was “personally briefed” on the matter, claiming that the intelligence “wasn’t verified.”
But a US official familiar with the latest information told CNN on Monday that intelligence about the Russian bounty was included in the President’s Daily Briefing (PDB) sometime in the spring. The written document includes the intelligence communities’ most important and urgent information. On Monday night, the New York Times reported that the information was included in a written briefing to the President in late February.
Trump is not known to read his daily briefing, and instead prefers an oral briefing a few times a week.
These latest revelations come as numerous former senior intelligence officials are pushing back on the White House denials, saying it was “absurd,” “ridiculous,” and “inconceivable” that the President would not have been briefed on such critical intelligence that potentially put US soldiers in harm’s way.
(CNN) In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.
The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has jumped out to a 9-point lead on President Donald Trump with five months to go until the election, but the CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds the president still has the edge among voters on the critical issue of the economy.
The June survey shows Biden leading Trump by 47% to 38% among registered voters, up 4 points from his lead in April. Biden benefited from increased support among young as well as wealthier voters, and he consolidated his base, seeing a 7 point gain in his approval among Democrats.
Trump lost considerable ground among independents, suffering an 11-point drop. Those independents, however, did not end up in Biden’s column. Instead, there was an 11-point increase in independents declaring themselves undecided.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An extraordinary standoff between the Justice Department and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman ended Saturday when the prosecutor agreed to leave his job with an assurance that his investigations into allies of President Donald Trump would not be disturbed.
The announcement capped two days of conflicting statements, allegations of political interference in prosecutions, and defiance from Berman. On Saturday, Attorney General William Barr said Berman’s refusal to resign under pressure prompted Trump to fire him. Trump tried to distance himself from the dispute, telling reporters the decision “was all up to the attorney general.”
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — President Donald Trump launched his comeback rally Saturday by defining the upcoming election as a stark choice between national heritage and left-wing radicalism. But his intended show of political force amid a pandemic featured thousands of empty seats and new coronavirus cases on his own campaign staff.
Trump ignored health warnings to hold his first rally in 110 days — one of the largest indoor gatherings in the world during a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and put 40 million out of work. The rally was meant to restart his reelection effort less than five months before the president faces voters again.