Washington, June 29
President Donald Trump has denied he was made conscious of US intelligence officers’ conclusions Russia secretly supplied bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan.
The Trump administration was set to temporary choose members of Congress on the matter Monday.
The intelligence assessments got here amid Trump’s push to withdraw the US from Afghanistan and steered Russia was making overtures to militants because the US and the Taliban held talks to finish the long-running struggle.
The evaluation was first reported by The New York Times after which confirmed to The Associated Press by American intelligence officers and two others with data of the matter.
There have been conflicting stories about whether or not Trump was conscious of Russia’s actions.
The intelligence officers advised the AP the president was briefed on the matter earlier this 12 months; Trump denied, tweeting on Sunday that neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed. Trump tweeted Sunday night time he was simply advised intelligence officers did not report the knowledge to him as a result of they did not discover it credible.
The intelligence officers and others with data of the matter insisted on anonymity to debate the extremely delicate matter.
The White House National Security Council wouldn’t verify the assessments however stated the US receives 1000’s of intelligence stories each day which can be topic to strict scrutiny.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, who golfed with Trump on Sunday, tweeted a day earlier it’s “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.”
GRU is a reference to the Russian army intelligence company.
Rep Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican within the House, known as for the White House to share extra info with Congress, saying, if true, lawmakers must know “Who did know and when?” and, referring to Russian chief Vladimir Putin, “What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”
Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden stated stories Trump was conscious of the Russian bounties can be a “truly shocking revelation” in regards to the commander in chief and his failure to guard US troops in Afghanistan and stand as much as Russia.
Russia known as 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 stated.
The Kremlin on Monday echoed that sentiment and known as the report “a lie”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated he regretted “the biggest, respectful and high-class international media organisations have not been above publishing absolute hoaxes in recent years.”
A Taliban spokesman stated the militants “strongly reject this allegation” and aren’t “indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign country.”
John Bolton, a former nationwide safety adviser who was compelled out by Trump final September and has written a tell-all ebook about his time on the White House, stated Sunday “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 advised NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he thought the reply “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 many few congressional leaders usually briefed on delicate intelligence issues, advised ABC’s “This Week” she hadn’t been knowledgeable in regards to the reported bounties and requested a report back 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 stated.
While Russian meddling in Afghanistan isn’t a brand new phenomenon for seasoned US intelligence officers and army commandos, officers stated Russian operatives turned extra aggressive of their want to contract with the Taliban and members of the Haqqani Network, a militant group aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and designated as a overseas terrorist group in 2012.
Russian operatives are stated to have met with Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar, and inside Afghanistan; nevertheless, it’s unknown if the conferences have been to debate bounties. AP