Why did Trump do nothing about Russia’s bounties on US troops?

Abortion protest

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“When I heard President Trump say we only had 15 cases and by the end of the week that it would be zero, I knew that it was time to act.” — Reverend Derrick DeWitt, director of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home in Baltimore, on what prompted him to take action to protect the nursing home’s residents from the coronavirus.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Huge day at the Supreme Court: In a peculiar decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices in striking down the Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in local hospitals, a law that would virtually have ended abortion in the state. The liberal justices say the law is an undue burden on abortion. Roberts himself believes the law is constitutional, and voted to uphold an identical Texas law in 2016, but he voted against it this time in order to maintain Supreme Court precedent. 

SCOTUS also gave the president the right to fire the head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau for any reason. The decision from the court’s conservative justices significantly strengthens executive power and reduces the independence of agencies. 

Russian bounties did result in the death of “several” US troops in Afghanistan. According to the Washington Post, intelligence assessments based on interviews with captured Taliban fighters concluded that Russian bounties to the Taliban did lead to American deaths.

Facebook struggles with an advertiser revolt, falling share price. Coca-Cola became the latest company to pause advertising on the platform. Inspired by the George Floyd protests, activists have petitioned advertisers to quit platforms that don’t crack down on hateful speech. Meanwhile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg continues to be raked for warping Facebook guidelines to protect President Trump.

VIEWS OF THE DAY

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Did President Trump ignore the Russia-Taliban bounty reports? 

It takes a lot to shock during the Trump era, but everything about the Russia-Taliban bounty story is horrifying. These bounties may have cost the lives of several Americans, but that only begins the shame. US intelligence learned about the bounties months ago, but the administration seemingly has done nothing in response to the Russian murder-for-hire program. No trade sanctions. No active measures. Not even an unkind holiday card for the Russian ambassador. 

News reports say that the bounty program was briefed at the highest levels of the White House, but these matters are secret, so it’s hard to know for certain. From what’s been reported so far, there are four likely scenarios. All but one of them should forfeit the right of Donald Trump to serve as president. 

The only excuse that’s not shameful for Trump — which is also the one the President is currently invoking — is that US intelligence decided that the information either wasn’t true or wasn’t well sourced enough to be shared, and so kept it from him. Let’s hope this is what happened! 
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Source:: Business Insider – Politics

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