Sunday, 12 July, 2020

United States congress leaders: did Trump know about Russian Federation and the Taliban

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Deanna Wagner | 30 June, 2020, 16:38

Two Republicans who attended Monday's White House briefing said the administration was investigating the accuracy of the news reports.

What are the new developments?

"When you have some sort of hater in the intelligence community that takes a piece of raw, unverified intelligence that no one has even agreed upon as true and then they leak it to a New York Times reporter and then spin it and lie about the fact that the president has been briefed on it to make the president look weak against Russia or the fact that Russia has something on him.it creates this Russian cloud around the president", Watters explained.

Trump has denied ever being briefed on the intelligence.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump was told in late March about Russian Federation paying bounties to Taliban fighters for US troop kills. But former intelligence officials told USA media that, in previous administrations, claims of such importance would be reported to the president, even if the evidence had not been fully established.

Reuters could not immediately confirm these reports.

In a separate statement, Representatives Liz Cheney and Mac Thornberry, who is the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said: "We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russian Federation or any other country targeting our forces".

Representatives Michael McCaul (Texas) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) issued a statement saying they "strongly encourage the Administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable", if the reports are true.

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

McEnany declined to say why a different standard of confidence in the intelligence applied to briefing lawmakers than bringing the information to the president.

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Several news outlets claimed that Russian military intelligence offered bounties to Taliban-linked terrorists to assassinate US and Coalition troops in Afghanistan, citing anonymous officials.

Media captionIs peace with the Taliban possible?

While intelligence officials said the information was passed along to the highest levels of the Trump administration, Director Of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said he had confirmed neither the president or vice president were every briefed on the matter alleged by the times.

[Two officials told the Times] that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump's President's Daily Brief document - a compilation of the government's latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read.

Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden said reports Trump was aware of the Russian rewards would be a "truly shocking revelation" about the commander in chief.

The unnamed officials cited by the New York Times' initial report said U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded months ago that a unit of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency had sought to destabilise its adversaries by covertly offering bounties for successful attacks on coalition forces.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, were believed to have collected some money, the newspaper said.

The New York Times and Washington Post broke the story, with the Post reporting on Sunday that several American soldiers were believed to have died as a result of the programme, which the Kremlin has denied.

However- President Trump denied that he was informed of the information about Russian Federation secretly paying the Taliban to kill USA soldiers.

"The questions that arise are: was the President briefed, and if not, why not, and why was Congress not briefed".