Democratic congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano of Penn Yan expressed deep concern Thursday over reports that President Trump was unaware of intelligence that Russia had paid bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The president continued on Wednesday to say he had not been informed of the intelligence and called the story a hoax.

Mitrano also said it was “reprehensible” that Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, whom she is challenging in the fall election, “does not stand up for our men and women in uniform in Afghanistan.”

Reed on Tuesday wouldn’t criticize Trump for not being aware of the intelligence that was presented in his written Daily Presidential Brief in late February or taking any action against Russia.

Mitrano accused Reed of “making excuses” for Trump.

Mitrano said her stepson was in Afghanistan for about a year until a few months ago.

Her family, she said, has “a very proud tradition” of military service including her father and his brothers in World War II and several cousins in the Vietnam War.

Mitrano said her criticism of the president’s inattention to his intelligence briefings was “not just because of my stepson. Many young people in this district, for the lack of economic opportunity, go into the military.”

Reed, said Mitrano, “does not stand up for the men and women in uniform in his district” because he can’t utter a bad word about the president. “Have you ever heard Trump take responsibility for anything? He is incapable.”

Mitrano said that “before the pandemic … people regarded politics and particularly President Trump as entertainment — a sitcom — Shakespearian.”

Trump and Reed, she said, “are of the same self-interested ilk.”

Other issues Mitrano expressed concern over in a telephone press and would oppose if she is elected to the House include:

Reed’s support to move U.S. Agriculture Department divisions to Oklahoma. This has led to many employees quitting or retiring early which will create a brain drain at USDA, she said.

Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

Reed’s vote against the HEROES Act which included additional financial help for individuals during the pandemic as well as state and local government.

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

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