It’s been exactly four weeks since The New York Times revealed a Russian bounty program to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers. President Donald Trump has never talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the program, as far as Americans know, but now he has missed an opportunity to register a warning with Putin.
On Thursday Trump talked by phone to Putin. The White House “readout” of the call did not mention the Russian-funded program to murder American soldiers.
On Friday MSNBC’s Kristen Welker asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany if Trump did talk to Putin about the program – McEnany refused to disclose the contents of their discussion.
She also claimed the report is “unverified” intelligence, which is false. The report has been verified by other news outlets, including at least one that has verified that U.S. soldiers were murdered by the Taliban and paid by Russia. The Times later even identified “a key middleman for bounties.”
“That intelligence is unverified still to this day, there are dissenting opinions within the intel community,” McEnany smoke-screened.
“I won’t get into the president’s discussions with a foreign leader,” she added. “I was not on that call but that intelligence is still unverified.”
“Rest assured,” she claimed, “our president will always stand with our military and protect them against any and every foreign adversary.”
.@kwelkernbc: Did Trump raise the issue of Russian bounties on American troops during his call with Putin?
McENANY: “As you know, that intelligence is unverified still to this day … I won’t get into the president’s private discussions with a foreign leader.” pic.twitter.com/bo2wThNaTn
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 24, 2020
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There Are 1.3 Million Active Duty Members of the US Military – a Lot More Are Voting for Biden Than Trump
Members of the U.S. Military historically have been a reliable Republican voting bloc. But not this year.
A new poll finds the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is not only underwater in favorability with military service members, but many more are voting for former Vice President Joe Biden than for their Commander-in-Chief.
Half of those surveyed (49.9%) in a Military Times poll view Trump unfavorably, including a whopping 42% who view him very unfavorably. Less than four in 10 (37.8%) view him favorably.
The decline in Trump’s favorability is striking. In 2016 his favorable ratings came in at 46.1%, meaning he’s dropped over eight points in just four years.
But Trump’s problem with the military isn’t just his favorability rating. There are 1.3 million active-duty members of the military.
Just a little more than one-third (37.4%) of those polled say they are voting for him.
43.1%, close to half, are voting for Biden.
How bad is this as a bellwether for the president?
40% of the military identifies as Republican or Libertarian, just 16% as Democratic.
Another indication that the military does not support Trump? In 2016, pre-election polling and exit polling found military service members voted for Trump 2-1 over Hillary Clinton.
Biden is now getting more than twice the share of military votes that Clinton did.
Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr
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