A number of intelligence streams counsel Russians paying bounties for US troops, Trump not briefed: official
A number of intelligence menace streams indicated Russian intelligence operatives provided bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops, however whereas the Nationwide Safety Council met just lately to give you a lot of responses to the report, it didn’t temporary President Trump, Fox Information has discovered.
In response to a senior U.S. official who has been briefed on the matter, members of the NSC just lately met on the White Home to debate “a menu of responses” to reviews that they had acquired about Russian actions in Afghanistan.
The official stated that the data the NSC acquired was based mostly on “a number of streams of intelligence of concern” with a few of it being contradictory and a few open to interpretation.
Information that Moscow allegedly provided bounties to Afghan militants who killed U.S. troopers was first reported over the weekend within the New York Instances.
The Washington Put up additional reported that the Russian bounties are “believed to have resulted within the deaths of a number of U.S. service members.” And The Related Press reported that officers stated an April 2019 assault on an American convoy that killed three Marines in Afghanistan is underneath investigation.
The Kremlin is denying the claims. A Putin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, informed NBC News on Monday that the Russia bounties story is “bulls—t.”
In the meantime, a White Home official acknowledged to Fox Information on Monday that Trump has now been briefed on the intelligence behind reviews of Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It’s unclear precisely when this briefing came about, however the official says it came about someday “after the NY Instances reported on unverified intelligence.”
This assertion is at odds with solutions Kayleigh McEnany, White Home press secretary gave to members of the White Home press corps throughout Monday’s briefing. McEnany stated – “The president has not been briefed on the matter” – and gave a number of variations of that reply all through the briefing. However the White Home official stated, “Kayleigh meant the President had not been beforehand briefed on the matter (earlier than the NYT report got here out)”
The White Home on Monday insisted there’s “no consensus” that the intelligence that Russia provided bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops is correct, which is why, it stated, the problem was by no means flagged to President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
The feedback from the administration come after a Sunday evening tweet from Trump insisting he had not been knowledgeable of the reviews as a result of the intelligence neighborhood “didn’t discover this information credible” and amid mounting stress from Congress to resolve whether or not Trump knew of the alleged bounties, and if that’s the case, why there was no recognized retribution towards Russia.
A separate supply throughout the army informed Fox Information on Monday that particular operations forces this 12 months raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000, with a subsequent interrogation of an Afghan fighter revealing that the cash got here from Russia.
The supply added, nevertheless, that the data was unable to be simply verified and the incident was not included in briefings to senior leaders on the Pentagon.
U.S. officers at the moment are involved due to the leaked story that Russia will attempt to cowl its tracks on this so-called bounty scheme.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who golfed with Trump on Sunday, tweeted Saturday it is “Crucial Congress resolve latest media reviews that Russian GRU items in Afghanistan have provided to pay the Taliban to kill American troopers with the aim of pushing America out of the area.” GRU is a Russian army intelligence company.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. three Republican within the Home, known as for the White Home to share extra info with Congress, saying, if true, lawmakers have to know “Who did know and when?” and, referring to Russian chief Vladimir Putin, “What has been finished in response to guard our forces & maintain Putin accountable?”
Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden stated reviews Trump was conscious of the Russian bounties can be a “really stunning revelation” concerning the commander in chief and his failure to guard U.S. troops in Afghanistan and stand as much as Russia.
Russia known as the report “nonsense.”
Fox Information’ Kristin Fisher, Tyler Olsen and The Related Press contributed to this report.