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Trump denies briefing on reported bounties against US troops

Trump Denies Briefing on Reported Bounties Against US Troops

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump has denied being informed of the conclusions of US intelligence officials that Russia secretly offered rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing US troops in Afghanistan. The Trump administration was scheduled to briefly brief selected members of Congress on the matter on June 29.
The intelligence evaluations came amid Trump’s push to withdraw the US from Afghanistan and suggested that Russia was making proposals to the militants while the US and Taliban were in talks to end the long-running war duration.
The assessment was first reported by The New York Times and then confirmed to The Associated Press by US intelligence officials and two other people with knowledge of the matter.
There were conflicting reports on whether Trump was aware of Russia’s actions.
Intelligence officials told AP that the president was briefed on the matter earlier this year; Trump denied that, tweeting on June 28 that neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence had been informed. The US president tweeted on June 28 at night that he had just been told that intelligence officials did not report the information because they did not find it credible.
Intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the matter insisted on anonymity to discuss the highly sensitive matter.
The White House National Security Council did not confirm the evaluations but said the United States receives thousands of intelligence reports daily that are subject to strict scrutiny.
Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., who played golf with Trump on June 28, tweeted a day earlier than it is “The Imperative Congress gets to the bottom of recent media reports that Russian GRU units in Afghanistan They have offered to pay the Taliban to kill “American soldiers with the goal of driving the United States out of the region.”
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, asked the White House to share more information with Congress, saying that if it is true, lawmakers should know “Who knew and when?” and, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, “What has been done in response to protect our forces and hold Putin accountable?”
Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said reports that Trump knew that the Russian rewards would be a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander-in-chief and his inability to protect US troops in Afghanistan and confront Russia.
Russia called the report “nonsense.”
“This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual capacities of the American intelligence propagandists, who instead of inventing something more plausible have to invent this nonsense,”said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
A Taliban spokesman said the militants “firmly reject this accusation” and are not “indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence agency or foreign country.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the few congressional leaders informed on sensitive intelligence issues, told ABC “This Week” that she had not been informed of the reported rewards and requested a report from Congress on the matter.
“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians in this regard, he denies being informed.” Whether or not it is, your administration knows and our allies some of our allies working with us in Afghanistan have been informed and accept this report,” she said.
While Russian meddling in Afghanistan is not a new phenomenon for experienced intelligence officers and military commandos, officials said Russian operatives became more aggressive in their desire to contract with the Taliban and members of the Haqqani Network, a group militant.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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