A new report by CNN says that officials warned Donald Trump about Russia’s behavior toward the U.S. less and less over time because he would fly into a rage whenever he was presented with intelligence about it.
Officials learned early on during Trump’s presidency to limit verbal briefings on Russia. Reportedly, Trump would often ignore written materials provided to him, CNN says multiple sources shared.
“The President has created an environment that dissuades, if not prohibits, the mentioning of any intelligence that isn’t favorable to Russia,” one former senior national security staffer told CNN.
This latest report adds support to the New York Times article on Russia putting bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, Mitch Prothro from Business Insider shared that three separate Taliban sources corroborated the bounty claims.
On Monday, The Associated Press reported that Trump had been briefed about Russia and the bounties by intelligence officials back in 2019.
According to CNN at the beginning of Trump’s presidency briefers who attempted to talk to Trump about Russia’s hostile actions towards the US would find themselves being verbally attacked as Trump flew into a rage. Trump’s repeatedly losing control caused officials to quickly learn not to highlight Russia during their briefings.
Several officials began avoiding oral briefings and would bring Trump lengthy written briefs to review. Officials say that Trump often failed to read the briefs.
Officials then were stuck trying to find a way to prioritize crucial information. One former senior intelligence official told CNN their policy then became “save it for when it matters.”
One former senior official said that led to “a self-fulfilling prophecy,” in which the less Trump was informed about Russian activity, the less he believed that Vladimir Putin had ill intentions toward the U.S.
One former US ambassador to Russia tweeted, “Trump always sides with Putin.”
Trump has not responded to these latest claims.