Trump putts as Putin puts bounty on US soldiers: Darcy cartoon

Clay Curtis
June 30, 2020

"It has been clear for some time that Russian Federation does not wish us well in Afghanistan", Representatives Mac Thornberry (Texas) and Liz Cheney (Wyoming) said in a statement after attending a briefing on June 29.

They said they believe it is important "to vigorously pursue" any information related to Russian Federation or any country targeting USA forces. "If the intelligence review process verifies the reports, we strongly encourage the administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable".

His report, based on unnamed sources with knowledge of hundreds of highly classified calls with foreign heads of state, echoes remarks made by former members of the Trump administration, including John Bolton, who served as national security adviser and said Mr Trump "remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House". What's more, while Trump said the allegations were deemed not credible by USA intelligence, McEnany told reporters that the information was still being "evaluated".

"Unfortunately, unauthorised disclosures now jeopardsze our ability to ever find out the full story", he said in a statement.

"Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan - and around the world - most seriously and therefore continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats", he said in a statement.

The intelligence was issued to the White House before Trump called for Russian Federation to be reinstated to the G8.

The newspaper reports, suggesting Trump may have ignored a threat to USA troops as he seeks to improve relations with Russian Federation, could damage Trump as he seeks re-election on November 3.

Democrats were not included in the initial meeting, and they have been scheduled to take part in a briefing with White House officials on Tuesday.

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White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany denied Trump was briefed and said there was "no consensus within the intelligence community".

"There are dissenting opinions within the intelligence community, and I can confirm with you right now that there is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations", she told reporters during a news briefing.

"Nevertheless the administration, including the National Security Council, have been preparing should the situation warrant action", O'Brien said.

While Ratcliffe did not directly refer to the story, originally run by the New York Times on Friday, which alleged that United States intelligence had briefed President Donald Trump on reports that Moscow offered Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan money in exchange for the killing of U.S. soldiers, he stated that the Directorate is "still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting".

Several news outlets claimed that Russian military intelligence offered bounties to Taliban-linked terrorists to assassinate USA and Coalition troops in Afghanistan, citing anonymous officials. Mr Trump denied having been briefed, writing on Twitter on Sunday that neither he nor Vice-President Mike Pence had been told "about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians".

The New York Times and Washington Post were among the first to publish the claims, with the Post reporting on June 28 that several American soldiers were believed to have died as a result of the program.

Soon after, most of the nation's leading news agencies confirmed the story: USA intelligence agencies have reason to believe Vladimir Putin's government offered financial rewards to those who killed American servicemen and women.

The U.S. intelligence was gathered from interrogations of captured militants in recent months, according to the reports.

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