The former vice president claimed that the Trump administration had declined to provide Biden’s campaign the chance for such a briefing.
As the presumed Democratic presidential contender, former Vice President Joe Biden stated on Tuesday that while he has not yet received any intelligence briefings, he may do so if rumors of Russian bounty hunters targeting American troops in Afghanistan continue to develop.
The former vice president claimed that the Trump administration had not provided Biden’s team with the chance for such a briefing, which is customary for major party contenders once they’ve clinched the nomination.
At his first lengthy news conference in months on Tuesday, Biden told reporters, “As this proceeds, I very well may” request a briefing.
Considering the nearly daily updates involving the alleged Russian bounty plan, the White House has received a lot of criticism. According to U.S. intelligence, Russian military intelligence personnel offered prizes to terrorists with ties to the Taliban in exchange for successful strikes on American and other coalition forces in Afghanistan, according to a report in the New York Times on Friday.
The bounties were discussed with President Donald Trump this spring and as early as February of last year, according to later media accounts, but the White House had not authorized any response to the operation.
The White House has maintained that intelligence on the plot is inconclusive, despite reports that the intelligence was recently shared with British officials. Trump and his aides have repeatedly denied that the president was ever briefed on the potential bounties, which are thought to have led to at least one U.S. combat death.
On Tuesday, Biden rejected that justification and asserted that the president ought to have been informed of the charges whether or not the intelligence community had completed determining their credibility.
If that is the case, “the idea that he somehow didn’t know, or isn’t being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty,” Biden added. And there would be a duty violation if after being briefed, nothing was done.
Using his wife Jill as an example, the former vice president claimed that she was “outraged” at the idea that their late son Beau, an Army officer, may be stationed in Afghanistan with a Russian bounty on his head.
If even the slightest bit of this is accurate, it would be a complete breach of duty, he said.
As the Russian payoff narrative developed, Biden said he kept in touch with his team of “dozens” of foreign policy and national security experts. But “if it doesn’t get resolved fast, then I will seek and ask if I can be informed,” the statement continued.
According to The Washington Post, Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received their first secret briefings of the 2016 campaign in August.
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