Trump denies being told that Russia put a price on heads of US soldiers



President Donald Trump has denied that he was made aware of U.S. intelligence officials’ conclusions that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan. The Trump administration was set to brief select members of Congress on the matter on Monday. 

The intelligence assessments came amid Trump’s push to withdraw the U.S. from Afghanistan, and suggested that Russia was making overtures to militants as the U.S. and the Taliban were holding talks to end the long-running war.

The assessment was first reported by The New York Times and then confirmed to The Associated Press by American intelligence officials and two others with knowledge of the matter.

There were conflicting reports about whether Trump was aware of Russia’s actions. The intelligence officials told the AP that the president was briefed on the matter earlier this year; Trump denied that, tweeting on Sunday that neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed.

The president tweeted Sunday night that he was just told that intelligence officials didn’t report the information to him because they didn’t find it credible.

The intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the matter insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the highly sensitive matter.

The White House National Security Council would not confirm the assessments, but said the U.S. receives thousands of intelligence reports daily that are subject to strict scrutiny.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who golfed with Trump on Sunday, tweeted a day earlier that it is “imperative Congress get to the bottom of recent media reports that Russian GRU units in Afghanistan have offered to pay the Taliban to kill American soldiers with the goal of pushing America out of the region.”

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House, called for the White House to share more information with Congress, saying if true, lawmakers need to know “Who did know and when?” and, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, “What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”

Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden said reports that Trump was aware of the Russian bounties would be 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 calls 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.”

John Bolton, a former national security adviser who was forced out by Trump last September and has now written a tell-all book about his time at the White House, said Sunday that “it is pretty remarkable the president’s going out of his way to say he hasn’t heard anything about it. One asks, why would he do something like that?”

Bolton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he thinks the answer “may be precisely because active Russian aggression like that against the American service members is a very, very serious matter and nothing’s been done about it, if it’s true, for these past four or five months, so it may look like he was negligent. But, of course, he can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the few congressional leaders briefed on sensitive intelligence matters, told ABC’s “This Week” that she had not been informed about the reported bounties and requested a report to Congress on the matter.

“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed. Whether he is or not, his administration knows and our allies — some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan had been briefed and accept this report,” she said.

While Russian meddling in Afghanistan is not a new phenomenon for seasoned U.S. intelligence officials 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 militant group that is aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and that was designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.

Russian operatives are said to have met with Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar and inside Afghanistan; however, it is not known if the meetings were to discuss bounties.

Insider attacks investigated

The officials the AP spoke to said the intelligence community has been investigating an April 2019 attack on an American convoy that killed three U.S. Marines after a car rigged with explosives detonated near their armored vehicles as they were traveling back to Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military installation in Afghanistan. Three other U.S. service members were wounded in the attack, along with an Afghan contractor. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter.

The officials the AP spoke to also said they were looking closely at insider attacks — sometimes called “green-on-blue” incidents — from 2019 to determine if they are also linked to Russian bounties.

In early 2020, members of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known to the public as SEAL Team Six, raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000. The recovered funds further solidified the suspicions of the American intelligence community that the Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and other linked associations.

One official said the administration discussed several potential responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step.

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 Putin. Trump tweeted that “nobody’s been tougher” on Russia than his administration.

(AP)

 





Source link

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

Related posts:

Modelling study predicts surge in HIV, TB, and malaria deaths due to COVID-19 pandemic
Deutscher Krankenhaustag findet im November statt
Why We’re Losing the Battle With Covid-19
Study shows how our brains remain active during familiar, repetitive tasks
Kontroverse um Arztquote an Krankenhäusern in Thüringen
Malian jihadist on trial at ICC over Timbuktu destruction, crimes against humanity
Live: France honours heroes of Covid-19 response at Bastille Day parade
New, remote weight-loss method helped slash pounds
Gleichgewichtssinn – Störung durch Schall-Leitungsschwerhörigkeit
US Supreme Court clears way for first execution of federal prisoner in 17 years
Potential causal role of human papilloma viruses (HPVs) in prostate cancers
Entscheidungen beeinflussen das assoziative Gedächtnis
Policy guides medical marijuana use at pediatric hospital
Das „Lazarus-Phänomen“: Wenn Tote plötzlich wieder Lebenszeichen geben
COVID-19-related symptoms persist after recovery
Graduiertenkolleg: Mikroskopie für Fortgeschrittene - Biermann Medizin
US prosecutors say Epstein's ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell should not be granted bail
Long-studied protein could be a measure of traumatic brain injury
PSMA-PET-CT vor kurativer Therapie im Vorteil gegenüber CT und Knochenscan
Macron to lay out Covid-19 crisis response at downsized Bastille Day
A Monell Center twins study
US rejects Beijing's claims in South China Sea, stoking tensions
Study finds cancer mortality rate disparity based on hospital ratings
Getting your protein from plants a recipe for longevity
High blood pressure increasingly deadly for black people
California reverses re-opening restaurants, malls and salons as Covid-19 cases surge
Houston leaders call for city lockdown amid virus case surge
Help Shape Our Reporting on Disability and Accessibility in America
For 'This is Us' actor, stroke survivor is more than a role—it's reality
Should We Be Drinking Less?
Mali frees detained opposition figures on fourth day of unrest in capital Bamako
Considering meditation and yoga as adjunctive treatment
WHO startet Anti-Nikotin-Kampagne – Raucher mit höherem Corona-Risiko
What Happens When You’re Disabled but Nobody Can Tell
Pandemic hits tourism income on Greece’s Kos
Coronavirus in 2 foreign arrivals raises alarm in Thailand
Berlin: Corona-Warn-App noch nicht mit Gesundheitsämtern und Laboren verbunden
Whipped by the ‘Long Tail’ of the Coronavirus
Amid demonstrations against gang violence and corruption in Haiti, a pastor publishes videos with ga...
WHO says countries taking 'wrong direction' on virus
Befragung zur COVID-19-Pandemie: Die Impfbereitschaft sinkt, die Sorge über Nebenwirkungen wächst
How Koalas With an S.T.D. Could Help Humanity
Mahmoud Dicko, the populist imam challenging Mali’s President Keita
How will France celebrate Bastille Day during Covid-19?
Invisible defence against adenoviruses
VISION: Mikrofluidisches Chipsystem als Alternative zu Tierversuchen
What’s Missing in the Effort to Stop Maternal Deaths
France raises pay for health care workers by more than €8 billion
WHO warns pandemic will get ‘worse and worse and worse’ unless countries follow Covid precautions
All the Zoom calls and screen time are bad for your eyes. Here are ways to protect your eyesight
COVID-19: Die meisten würden sich impfen lassen, um andere zu schützen
Man, 30, Dies After Attending a ‘Covid Party,’ Texas Hospital Says
Muted celebrations in France under shadow of Covid-19
Christopher Aurier, brother to Premier League Tottenham's Serge, fatally shot in France
New PET radiotracer proven safe and effective in imaging malignant brain tumors
Studie: Dynamik der Coronavirus-Verbreitung in Schulen überschätzt
In Astounding Test, Scientists Revive Damaged Lungs for Transplant
Washington NFL team changing name in response to sponsor pressure
One vaccine could beat COVID, Sars, Mers, and common cold
Studie zeigt: Arsentrioxid stärkt die körpereigene Virusabwehr
Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine
French police announce arrest of ‘darknet’ paedophilia site operator
Transplantable lab-grown organs move a step closer
Neue Molekülbibliothek hilft bei der systematischen Suche nach Wirkstoffen
Live Coronavirus Updates: Trump Aides Target Fauci
Ivory Coast’s Vice President Duncan resigns, days after PM’s death
A balancing act between immunity and longevity
Neuer Ansatz für Gentherapie gegen Herzschwäche
Spanish judge blocks new Covid-19 lockdown in Catalonia
Study links stress hormone with higher blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes
Große COVID-Untersuchung in Würzburger Bevölkerung
Women taking beta blockers for hypertension may have higher risk of heart failure with acute coronar...
Deutsche vertrauen vor allem Arzt oder Apotheker - Youtube, Facebook und Co. verlieren deutlich
Court overturns Man City’s two-year ban from European football
Racial disparities in COVID-19 are clear; better data, more targeted action needed
Wirkung von Pharmako- und Psychotherapie bei einzelnen Depressions-Symptomen
Long-term strategies to control COVID-19 must treat health and economy as equally important
Kehlkopfkrebs in den USA: Sozioökonomische Faktoren als Prädiktoren
Stayin’ Alive: How Disco Saved Daddy
Cigarette sales declining by 20 million a month after advent of standardized packaging
«Kompass» für den Krankheitsverlauf bei schwer erkrankten COVID-19-Patienten
Trump’s Health Officials Warn More Will Die as Covid Cases Rise
Poland’s incumbent Duda tops presidential vote
Zelluläre Müllabfuhr: Osmotischer Stress als Stimulator identifiziert
France’s new PM vows help for Covid 19-hit French Guiana
Hürde der Mikroskopie überwunden - Biermann Medizin
Iran says human error behind decision to fire on Ukraine passenger jet
Mexico surpasses Italy to become country with fourth-highest Covid-19 death toll
South Africa re-imposes curfew as coronavirus infections spike
Crew members injured in fire on US Navy ship in California
Lebanon daily virus cases spike
Florida sets state record for daily Covid-19 infections
Florida reports 15,000 new virus cases in a day, a US record
Mali protest leader calls for calm after demonstrations turn deadly
Virus spread, not politics should guide schools, doctors say
Spain region orders lockdown as global infections gather pace
Polish presidential election results too close to call in exit polls
As virus rages in US, New York guards against another rise
France and Britain agree to form joint unit to fight migrant traffickers
Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Wears Mask Publicly for First Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *