Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoHaley has 'positive' meeting with Trump No time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris MORE said Thursday that the State Department has warned Russian officials about all threats that Russia poses to Americans and U.S. interests in various parts of the world.
Pompeo was pressed during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about reports of Russia paying bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American troops in Afghanistan.
The secretary of State did not comment on whether he specifically raised the bounty allegations, but told the panel that threats from Russia against Americans in the middle east and elsewhere were discussed.
“Yes, I can assure you that each time I have spoken to [Russian] Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov, I have raised all of the issues that put any Americans at risk,” Pompeo said in response to a question from the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Spending bill faces Senate scramble Republicans raise concerns over Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany MORE (N.J.).
“We have raised this at my level and not only at my level,” Pompeo added.
Pompeo has previously pushed back on reports of Russian bounties, which were first reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post, accusing journalists of spreading misinformation.
When the reports surfaced, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied that President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE and Vice President Pence were briefed on the intelligence but did not deny that the intelligence was accurate.
A White House spokeswoman this week emphasized that the reports "were based on unverified intel" but said "we still take it extremely seriously."
"The safety of U.S. forces is the President’s top priority in Afghanistan," White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah tweeted, noting that the intelligence assessment was also shared with Capitol Hill.
"Our country has seen the very real consequences of overreacting to unverified intelligence in the past. @realDonaldTrump will not repeat these same mistakes," she added.
Pompeo’s Senate testimony came a day after Trump confirmed that he did not bring up the intelligence with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense & National Security — US tries to deter Russian invasion of Ukraine Blinken decries coordinated Russian destabilizing efforts Biden says team working on 'initiatives' to prevent Russian invasion of Ukraine MORE.
The secretary of State declined to say if he would recommend that Trump raise the matter with Putin.