CNN’s Jim Acosta is perhaps the most obnoxious, biased, grand-standing journalist there ever was.
He’s gotten into with the President, has rudely pushed away a female White House aid who was trying to take his microphone, and has been a thorn in the side of every White House Press Secretary since the beginning of The Trump Administration.
But when it came to the purported “Russian Bounty Gate,” regarding rumors of Russian bounties on US soldiers, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany put Jim in his place:
MAGAConservatives created a transcript of the exchange:
“Does the president or the administration plan to make it very clear to the Russian Federation that there should not be bounties placed on the heads of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan?” Acosta asked Kayleigh McEnany.
“We make that clear each and every day to every country around the world that this president will always stand by our law enforcement,” McEnany said. “No one has been tougher on Russia. What you’re…”
“Not law enforcement. I’m talking about military soldiers,” Acosta interrupted, “U.S. forces overseas.”
“Yes, of course. That’s what I’m saying. Our U.S. forces,” McEnany answered.
“Not just any country,” Acosta said. “The Russians. Will you tell the Kremlin and President Putin.”
“Each and every country,” McEnany replied. “But what you’re getting at …”
Acosta continued: “ Putin… not to put bounties on the heads of American soldiers?”
“Of course. We tell each and every country that. But what you’re getting at is uncorroborated intelligence, and you’re treating it as if it were true.”
“To this day, there are varying views on the Russian bounty intelligence — Department of Defense, National Security Council and the Office of Director of National Intelligence all pointing that out,” McEnany responded.
“You know, I’m not going to answer a question based on unverified intelligence, but rest assured, every country in this world is put on notice that bounties on the heads of U.S. troops is unacceptable, and this president will stand for U.S. troops at home and abroad.”
As reported by Military Times, the military's top general in the Middle East did not find the rumored Russian bounties to be actionable intelligence:
The top U.S. general for the Middle East said Tuesday that the intelligence suggesting that Russia may have paid Taliban militants to kill American troops in Afghanistan was worrisome, but he is not convinced that any bounties resulted in U.S. military deaths.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command said in a telephone interview with a small group of reporters that the U.S. did not increase force protection measures in Afghanistan as a result of the information, although he asked his intelligence staff to dig into the matter more.
“I found it very worrisome. I didn’t find that there was a causative link there,” said McKenzie, who is the first Pentagon official to speak publicly at length about the issue. He warned, however, that Russia has long been a threat in Afghanistan, where there have been many reports that it has backed Taliban fighters over the years with resources and weapons.
According to U.S. intelligence officials, information that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops was included in an intelligence brief for President Donald Trump in late February. The White House, however, has denied Trump was briefed at that time, arguing that the intelligence was not credible enough to bring to his attention.
Trump calls reports of Russian bounties on US troops a ‘hoax'
The president criticized the media for reporting allegations that Russian officials paid Taliban units to target American forces.
McKenzie said that while he could draw no direct link between any potential payments and U.S. casualties, it’s common that intelligence is not definitive.
“We should always remember, the Russians are not our friends,” said McKenzie, who is traveling in the Middle East. “They are not our friends in Afghanistan. And they do not wish us well, and we just need to remember that at all times when we evaluate that intelligence.”
And as far as Fake News Jim Acosta goes, well, his obnoxious behavior is just par for the course.