Senate Democrat: Russian bounties intel 'the type of information that has to be seized by the president'

Senate Democrat: Russian bounties intel 'the type of information that has to be seized by the president'
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedTop Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up MORE (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Sunday criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE’s response to intelligence alleging Russian officials offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. service members, saying the president should have “seized” on those reports.

“If there’s credible evidence that Russia is trying to entice Afghanis to kill American servicemen, that is a serious issue,” Reed said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“The involvement of Russia in Afghanistan with the purpose of trying to kill… American soldiers is something that can’t be accepted,” he added. “That’s the type of information that has to be seized by the president.”

“He’s at the intersection of all the different roads of intelligence that comes together,” Reed added, noting that unlike members of Congress and intelligence officials, the president is in a position to speak directly with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinScarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump Will Biden choose a values-based or transactional foreign policy? Russian vessel threatens to ram US warship in disputed waters in Sea of Japan MORE.

“If this is an issue at all, even one you have to warn him away from not even thinking about,” Reed said, “that discussion might have been very useful.”

Guest host Mike Emanuel also asked Reed, a former Army Ranger, about a defense bill containing a provision that would rename military bases named after Confederate officers such as Fort Benning and Fort Bragg.

“I think we’ve finally come to grips with our history and we’ve come to grips with it in an appropriate way,” Reed said, noting that the provision had passed the GOP-controlled committee and is “coming to the floor of the Senate as a bipartisan initiative.”

Reed said the renaming “recognizes is these individuals abandoned their country… and fought against the United States of America,” and said that the in the modern military, which includes men and women and service members of all races, bases “cannot be named for someone who pledged his service to a system that is based on slavery—that has to be changed.”