This couldn’t be. I’m assured that John Bolton is a man of virtue who would never abscond from the truth for political and financial gain.
Well, that theory is getting tested as it appears Bolton has gotten caught in a lie about the recent Russian Bounty story that the media are running wild with.
For background, the narrative is essentially that Trump was briefed on Russians paying bounties for U.S. troop deaths to the Taliban but did not take action. This is supposed to feed the “Trump luvs Putin” narrative that seems to be the only thing Democrats have left to push.
To be sure, there’s still no actual evidence any of this happened.
JUST IN: Statement from the Pentagon on the intelligence that Russian GRU operatives had offered bounties for US troops in Afghanistan:
“To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.” pic.twitter.com/Q1rOjtgQXc
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) June 30, 2020
That hasn’t stopped the frenzy and Bolton decided to join in over the weekend, taking to the Sunday shows to proclaim how awful Trump is. But aside from that, he also indicated that he was also unaware of this supposed intelligence and that he did not know if the President had been briefed on the matter.
Then, news broke this morning that Bolton claimed he not only knew of the intelligence, but that he had briefed the President himself on it in 2019. That was via the Associated Press.
Bolton clearly indicates here that he didn't know anything about it and had never briefed Trump on it.
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) June 30, 2020
Regardless of which claim is true, Bolton ends up being a liar. Either he briefed the President and is lying about it now because he doesn’t want to be accused of being callous about the lives of U.S. troops, or he’s telling the truth now and was lying then when he told others he briefed the President.
Current evidence (or lack there of) suggests Trump was never made aware of this. That comes from multiple sources via major networks. The NSC has yet to find any PDB with this information in it while other intel sources confirm it was unsubstantiated, low-level intelligence. Bolton himself is now refusing to comment.
Of course, any time you see leaks like this, you have to ask why they happened. The answer is obvious. Democrats and neoconservatives want to paint Trump into a corner whereby he can’t leave Afghanistan without looking like he’s capitulating to Russia. Because 20 years isn’t enough time fighting that war or something.
There’s also the electoral aspect. Painting Trump as a Russian agent is basically the only weapon the media and their Democrat masters have in their arsenal. They want to keep the narrative going and every time they release a story like this, even if it harms national security (and this did), they see it as a connecting thread to all the other ridiculous Russian conspiracy theories they’ve peddled for years.
What’s so sad about this is that it has a chance to work. It’s all the more reason Trump needs to be re-elected. The damage done to the country if these people are rewarded for this behavior and abuse of power will be incalculable.