Republican super-PAC The Lincoln Project blasted President Trump in a new ad over a report that Russian military operatives offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill coalition forces, including U.S. troops.
“This heinous failure by the commander-in-chief to protect American soldiers in the field is unthinkable,” Reed Galen, co-founder of the anti-Trump group, said in a statement. “There aren’t words to describe Donald Trump’s dereliction of duty as Commander in Chief.”
“Congress should charge him for this crime,” co-founder Mike Madrid added. “Unfortunately, his enablers in the U.S. Senate, starting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will shrug off this war crime like he has everything else.”
In the 60 second spot, titled “Bounty,” a narrator says over footage of flag-draped caskets: “Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows too, and does nothing.”
“Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform, and Trump is silent, weak, controlled,” the narrator continues over footage of Trump and the Russian leader shaking hands. “Instead of condemnation, he insists Russia be treated as our equal. Instead of retaliation, he invites Putin to America.”
“When Trump tells you he stands by the troops, he’s right. Just not our troops,” the spot concludes.
WATCH: Bounty Ad
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied reporting by The New York Times that Trump and Vice President Pence were briefed on the alleged bounties when U.S. intelligence got wind of them.
“This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter,” McEnany said.
Trump also denied the reports this morning, tweeting: “Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their ‘source’?”
The New York Times reported Friday that Trump was informed by U.S. intelligence back in March that a Russian military intelligence unit offered rewards to Islamist militants last year for successful attacks on American and coalition troops.
Some bounty money was paid, American intelligence believed, according to the Times.
Despite being informed of the situation, Trump took no action, sources told the Times.
Not only that, but he offered to invite Putin in a phone call to attend the G-7 Summit in the U.S. in September, despite the strong objections of Canada and Britain, the Kremlin reported this month.
Sources later also confirmed the Times story to The Washington Post, Fox News and CNN.
Former Trump friend and short-time White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said it’s time for Trump “to go,” and called him a “puppet” of Putin.