Nancy Pelosi: Donald Trump denial of Russian Federation bounty report 'totally outrageous'
Jun 29 2020
In a report on Friday, The New York Timessaid that Trump had been briefed on the intelligence that Russian intelligence units secretly offered bounties to Taliban-related militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan during the US-Taliban peace talks.
Fox News covered the bombshell New York Times story about Russian Federation offering bounties to the Taliban for killing USA soldiers, but left out President Donald Trump's role in the story - while finding time to recite denials from Russian Federation and the Taliban. The newspaper reported that Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, were believed to have collected some bounty money.
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".
During a virtual town hall on Saturday, Biden saidTimes report, if true, represents a "truly shocking revelation", noting in particular Trump's reported failure to retaliate.
"There's obviously more to this story, but it is pretty remarkable the president's going out of his way to say he hasn't heard anything about it", Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton told NBC News.
Russian Federation has more recently been accused by the United States of quietly providing weapons to the Taliban.
It couldn't be determined whether Russian bounties paid to Taliban fighters resulted in any American combat deaths in Afghanistan.
The officials said administration leaders learned of reported bounties in recent months from USA intelligence agencies, prompting a series of internal discussions including a large inter-agency meeting that was held in late March.
The group, widely believed to have received years of support from Pakistani intelligence, also denied previous United States accusations it was given arms by Russian Federation.
Before this 12 months, the administration struck an preliminary peace offer with the Taliban.
The Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. called the allegations "baseless and anonymous", saying they "have already led to direct threats to the life of employees of the Russian Embassies in Washington D.C. and London".
The Times quoted a Taliban spokesman denying that its militants have such a deal with the Russian intelligence agency.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), the best Republican on the Residence International Affairs Committee, stated in a assertion posted to Twitter that he experienced asked for added info from the administration, and that this kind of an operation would deepen his issues about Moscow's steps outside of Russian borders.
The European official told CNN that Russian intelligence officials were working for the known GRU unit 29155, blamed by European intelligence officers in the past for the assassination attempts on Sergei Skripal, a former KGB agent, who had been recruited years earlier by British intelligence, and his daughter in 2018 in Salisbury, the United Kingdom, and other prominent attacks in Europe.
Hanging over the process is Trump's frequently stated desire to remove U.S. forces from the country, where local forces have been unable to secure an edge over the Taliban - despite two decades of foreign funding and advising.