The issue has roiled Washington since Friday, with both Republican and Democratic lawmakers demanding briefings on the issue and information on how President Trump and his national security team have handled it. Republicans lawmakers were briefed by the White House on Monday, and a group of Democrats were briefed Tuesday.
While White House officials said Mr. Trump never received an in-person briefing on the reported threat to U.S. troops, information about the intelligence assessment apparently was included in his written daily intelligence briefing, a Republican lawmaker said.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) after a White House briefing Monday told NBC News that he thought the intelligence was included in the President’s Daily Brief, often known as the PDB, a collection of highly sensitive intelligence presented to the president each day. “I believe it may have been” in the PDB, he told NBC News Monday.
Mr. McCaul said that intelligence presented to the president generally “has to be credible, actionable intel” and officials were still in the process of vetting the intelligence and “looking at ideas” about how to proceed.
In a separate interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. McCaul said one intelligence agency was “strongly dissenting” with another, but he wouldn’t name the agencies at odds or the issues in question.
Following a White House briefing Tuesday, Rep. Adam Smith (D., Wash.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said White House officials outlined evidence of Russian wrongdoing.
“They did not dispute that there is some intelligence that supports the conclusion,” Mr. Smith said. But they insisted there is other intelligence “that disputes the conclusion,” he said.
“I think there is certainly enough there to pursue it further,” Mr. Smith added. “There is certainly enough there” to factor this into the relationship with Putin and Russia, he said.