Trump Denies Briefing On Reported Bounties Against US Troops

President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he walks on the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Washington. Trump is returning from Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday denied that he had been briefed on reported U.S. intelligence that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, and he appeared to minimize the allegations against Moscow.

American intelligence officials concluded months ago that Russian officials offered rewards for successful attacks on American service-members last year, at a time when the U.S. and Taliban were holding talks to end the long-running war, according to The New York Times.

Trump, in a Sunday morning tweet, said “Nobody briefed or told me” or Vice President Mike Pence or chief of staff Mark Meadows about “the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians.”

“Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us,” he said.

The White House had issued a statement Saturday denying that Trump or Pence had been briefed on such intelligence. “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,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.

Trump’s director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, also said neither the president nor vice president was “ever briefed on any intelligence alleged” in the Times’ report and he said the White House statement was “accurate.”

Trump’s tweet came a day after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that the report, if accurate, was a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander in chief and his failure to protect U.S. troops in Afghanistan and stand up to Russia.

Russia called the report “nonsense.”

“This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists of American intelligence, who instead of inventing something more plausible have to make up this nonsense,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

A Taliban spokesman said the militants “strongly reject this allegation” and are not “indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign country.”

The Times, citing unnamed officials familiar with the intelligence, said the findings were presented to Trump and discussed by his National Security Council in late March. Officials developed potential responses, starting with a diplomatic complaint to Russia, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the report said.

Trump responded to Biden on Twitter, saying “Russia ate his and Obama’s lunch during their time in office”

But it was the Obama administration, along with international allies, that suspended Russia from the Group of Eight after its unilateral annexation of Crimea from Ukraine — a move that drew widespread condemnation.

Biden criticized Trump for “his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself” before Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Trump tweeted that “Nobody’s been tougher” on Russia than his administration.

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  1. If this matter occurred, it is incumbent upon intelligence officials to send it up the chain of command, to the President. For example, in the Fall of 1962, when a U-2 spy plane discovered offensive missiles in Cuba, President Kennedy was immediately notified by the CIA.

  2. I believe what Putin says. He is honest and was elected by 99.8% of Russians. He also had the largest Inauguration in History. Why should I believe in US Intelligence at all. They claimed Russian Interference in the US election for Trump .

  3. The paper trail on this egregious breach of national security and trumpf’s total abdication of responsibility as president will come to light this week. Numerous admin officials worked on possible US responses to Russia’s placing bounties on US Forces in Afghanistan. That’s all over DC and will be out this week. Another dismal failure by trumpf. NOVEMBER 3

    • No need to worry. Bidenmf and his son Hunter will soon sweep the nation to the promised land. Trump will be gone. All these conversations will be for naught.

  4. Tack on another lie.
    The frenzy will continue until the Silent Majority will Roar on Election Day.
    Millions are fed up and chomping at the bit.

  5. It’s well known that Trump doesn’t bother to read the written briefings given him daily so unless the intelligence agency staff told him verbally and asked him if he understood what he was being told it’s possible that he was unaware of the bounty placed on American troops.
    I wonder what Bolton’s reaction to this allegation is.


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