Bolton on Trump denying he was briefed on bounties on US troops: 'Just another day at the office in the Trump White House'

Former White House national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonEx-Trump adviser, impeachment witness Fiona Hill gets book deal Hannity's first book in 10 years debuts at No. 1 on Amazon Congress has a shot at correcting Trump's central mistake on cybersecurity MORE said Sunday that a tweet from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE denying he had been briefed on reported Russian bounties placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan was typical behavior for the president.

“There's a lot we don't know, so we should be cautious, but from what we do know from the president's own tweets this morning, to me it looks like just another day at the office in the Trump White House,” Bolton said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

Similarly, Bolton said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that while he doesn’t know about this specific situation, it “sounds like a story” he could’ve written in his new memoir about his time at the Trump White House. 


He said Trump’s tweet denying the report is an effort to shift the responsibility away from himself. 

“What would motivate the president to do that? Because it looks bad if Russians are paying to kill Americans and we’re not doing anything about it,” Bolton said. “So what what is the presidential reaction, is to say, ‘It’s not my responsibility. Nobody told me about it’ and therefore to duck any complaints that he hasn't acted effectively.” 

“This is part of the problem with President Trump’s decisionmaking in the national security space. It’s just unconnected to the reality he's dealing with. It’s about his personal position,” Bolton added. 


If the reports are true, Bolton said the U.S. should “consider a number of strong measures against Russia.” 

The New York Times reported Friday that U.S. intelligence officials concluded earlier this year that a Russian military unit covertly tried to offer rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. troops. 

Trump tweeted early Sunday that “nobody briefed or told” him, Vice President Pence or chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill No signs of breakthrough for stalemated coronavirus talks On The Money: Administration defends Trump executive orders | CBO reports skyrocketing deficit | Government pauses Kodak loan pending review MORE about the “so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians.” 

"Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us. Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he is 'seriously' considering a capital gains tax cut Why Joe Biden is in trouble Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine - Where’s Hunter? Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their 'source'?" Trump tweeted. 

The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Fox News have also published reports confirming The New York Times's reporting.