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A bipartisan group of senators is trying to place limits on President TrumpDonald John TrumpIntelligence suggests Russian bounties led to deaths of several US troops in Afghanistan: report Obama called Philonise Floyd before brother's memorial service: NYT President Trump tries to cover his tracks by attacking the rule of law MORE's ability to remove troops from Germany unless the administration is able to meet a slew of requirements.

 

The proposal, spearheaded by Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden campaign adds staff in three battleground states GOP warns against ramping down coronavirus testing Republican Scott Taylor wins Virginia primary, to face Elaine Luria in rematch MORE (R-Utah), would prohibit the administration from reducing the number of active-duty troops in Germany below 34,500 unless the Pentagon can certify to Congress that it is in the national security interest of the United States and would not negatively undermine European alliances or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

It would also require the Defense secretary to certify that the move would not impact the U.S. military's ability to "execute contingency plans," wouldn't negatively impact ongoing operations, won't impact military families and that the Pentagon has consulted with allies including NATO and Germany.  

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate Gridlock mires chances of police reform deal Jaime Harrison: GOP police reform bill 'doesn't go far enough' MORE (R-S.C.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP committee chair: 'It would help' if Trump would wear a mask occasionally Police reform in limbo after Senate setback On The Money: Trump, GOP clash over new round of checks | Dow sinks more than 700 points as COVID-19 surge shakes Wall Street | Senate Dems raise concerns about debit cards used for stimulus payments MORE (R-Fla.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsClose Biden ally says he is open to ending the filibuster Senators offer bill to expand charitable giving tax break Dems request watchdog probe use of federal law enforcement in DC during Floyd protests MORE (D-Del.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate Police reform in limbo after Senate setback Trade groups make lobbying push to be included in small business loan program MORE (D-Va.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote Senators offer bill to expand charitable giving tax break Klobuchar withdraws from Biden VP contention MORE (D-N.H.) are also co-sponsoring the proposal.  

The senators want to get it included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a mammoth defense policy bill set to be debated by the Senate this week. Hundreds of amendments are filed to the NDAA every year but only a handful normally end up getting a roll call vote on the floor.  

In addition to Romney's amendment, Graham filed a separate proposal throwing the Senate's support behind the U.S.-Germany relationship. 

"The presence of United States military forces in Germany is a strong deterrent against Russian aggression in Europe and strengthens the capability of NATO," Graham's resolution reads.  

Trump confirmed earlier this month that he would cut the number of U.S. soldiers in Germany to 25,000, a decision that has been met with bipartisan scrutiny.

“Germany’s delinquent,” Trump said at the time. “They’ve been delinquent for years, and they owe NATO billions of dollars, and they have to pay it. So we’re protecting Germany, and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense.” 

Germany is not on track to meet NATO’s goal of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. But it is not “delinquent” to NATO as Trump describes because the spending is not a payment to NATO — it is spending on a country’s own defense — and the goal does not have to be met until 2024. 

— Rebecca Kheel contributed 

Tags Jeanne Shaheen Lindsey Graham Donald Trump Mitt Romney Chris Coons Marco Rubio Tim Kaine

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Republican Group Slams Comrade Donald Trump In Russian-Language Ad

On Thursday, conservative super PAC The Lincoln Project released an advertisement accusing President Donald Trump of being controlled by Russia, The Hill reported.

Entitled “Fellow Traveler,” the Russian-language ad suggests that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has, once again, “endorsed” Trump.

“The most important endorsement Donald Trump received in 2016 was not from your Senate Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.],” the English translation reads.

“Donald Trump received the most important endorsement in 2016 from our great leader, Vladimir Putin.”

The brief video clip features footage of Trump and Putin, communist imagery such as the hammer and sickle, as well as photographs of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin.

The ad highlights Russia’s alleged efforts to boost Trump’s candidacy, suggesting that the Kremlin has convinced Americans to support Trump.

“Our special services worked overtime to elect Comrade Trump. We waged a war against the so-called ‘truth,’ and convinced you decadent Americans to believe in our comrade,” the ad says

The commander-in-chief has been accused of conspiring with the Russian government to beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to U.S. intelligence agencies, Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election in order to help Trump.

The Lincoln Project released a similar advertisement last week, in the wake of news reports containing allegations that Russia offered bounties to Taliban soldiers for killing Americans.

The ad accused Trump — who claims to not have been briefed on the alleged situation — of betraying American troops stationed in Afghanistan.

“Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent. When Trump tells you he stands by the troops, he’s right. Just not our troops,” the ad said.

American officials are reportedly “confident” that Russia offered bounties to Islamist militants, but it remains unclear who in the Russian government authorized the alleged operation.

Speculation about alleged bounties on American troops has reignited speculation about Trump’s alleged ties to the Russian government. In an interview last week, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi suggested that the Kremlin has dirt on the commander-in-chief.

Both Democratic and Republican leaders have called for a response to Russia’s alleged actions. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that he expects an investigation into the matter, while Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming demanded more transparency from the White House.

On Thursday, top intelligence officials — led by CIA Director Gina Haspel — briefed a select group of lawmakers on the alleged situation in Afghanistan, per ABC News.

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