Trump called the New York Times report ‘another hoax’ and blames Obama and Biden for letting Moscow ‘have a field day’
The official that reported the information was unclear as to the precise Russian motivation, but said the incentives must have led to coalition casualties. The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries.
“This callous approach by the GRU is startling and reprehensible. Their motivation is bewildering,” the official said.
It is understood that US intelligence present in the region concluded months ago that Russian military intelligence offered the bounties, while peace talks were going on.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement yesterday that the President and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed “on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”
McEnany said her statement “does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story,” which said Trump had been briefed.
McEnany did not deny the validity of the reported US intelligence that a Russian intelligence unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to carry out attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said it was ‘shocking’ if Trump knew in March of Russian payments to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops and didn’t act. He said Trump’s ‘entire presidency has been a gift to Putin’