2020-09-25@14:31:25 GMT
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    Allegations that Russia worked with the Taliban to place bounties on U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East are not corroborated by any available intelligence, according to a top general in Afghanistan. “It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. “We continue to look for that evidence. I just haven’t seen it yet. But…it’s not a closed issue,” he said. McKenzie repeated similar claims made by Gen. Mark Milley in July that data supporting the allegations was inconclusive and not enough to act on. “I found what they presented to me very concerning, very worrisome. I just couldn’t see the final connection,...
    Bradley Cortright September 14, 2020 0 Comments Months after The New York Times first reported that Russian officials paid Taliban fighters bounties to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, the commander overseeing forces in Afghanistan says the intelligence officials have not corroborated that report.  In an interview with NBC News, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, said, “It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me.” He added, “We continue to look for that evidence … I just haven’t seen it yet. But … it’s not a closed issue.” Additionally, McKenzie said, “I found what they presented to me very concerning, very worrisome. I just couldn’t see the final connection, so I sent my...
    Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) attacked President Donald Trump on the last night of the Democratic National Convention for not publicly confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin for uncorroborated reports that Russia put bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Duckworth said: That’s the kind of leader our service members deserve: one who understands the risks they face and who would actually protect them by doing his job as commander-in-chief. Instead, they have a coward-in-chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin, read his daily intelligence briefings, or even publicly admonish adversaries for reportedly putting bounties on our troops’ heads. The New York Times reported in June that American intelligence officials “concluded” a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States would hit back against other countries found to offer bounties for attacks on U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. (Reporting by David Morgan) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    Photograph: Rahmat Gul/AP Iran is reported to have paid bounties to a Taliban faction for killing US and coalition troops in Afghanistan, leading to six attacks last year including a suicide bombing at the US airbase in Bagram. According to CNN, US intelligence assessed that Iran paid the bounties to the Haqqani network, for the Bagram attack on 11 December, which killed two civilians and injured more than 70 others, including two Americans. Related: Trump views US troops as disposable – the Russian bounty scandal makes that clear | Simon Tisdall The Pentagon decided not to take retaliatory action in the hope of preserving a peace deal the Trump administration agreed with the Taliban in February, the CNN report...
    TALIBAN fighters were offered money to target and kill Americans, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment. U.S. intelligence sources told CNN that Iran offered bounties to Taliban fighters for targeting American and coalition troops in Afghanistan. 6American soldiers deploy to fight Taliban fighters near the village of Deh Afghan in the Zabul province of Afghanistan in 2006. Credit: Getty Images - Getty The agencies were able to link the bounties to at least six attacks from Taliban fighters carried out on U.S. and coalition troops last year alone. One of the attacks included a suicide bombing at a U.S. air base in December. Sources told CNN a foreign government identified as Iran offered "bounties" to the terrorist group...
    Savannah Rychcik July 30, 2020 0 Comments Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending the Trump administration’s handling of reports suggesting Russian operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. During his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Pompeo if he raised the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Pompeo insisted he has raised all of his concerns with Russia. “Yes, I can assure you and the American people that each time I’ve spoken with Foreign Minister Lavrov, I have raised all of the issues that put any American interests at risk, whether it’s our soldiers on the ground in Syria, soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, the activities that are taking place...
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured lawmakers on Thursday that the Trump administration has confronted top Russian diplomats and military officers about the alleged bounties Russia has offered Taliban-linked rebels to kill American troops in Afghanistan — even though Donald Trump has refused to bring the topic up with his counterpart Vladimir Putin. “I can assure you and the American people that each time I’ve spoken with [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov, I have raised all of the issues that put any American interests at risk, whether it’s our soldiers on the ground in Syria, soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, the activities that are taking place in Libya, the actions in Ukraine,” Mr Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign...
    The U.S. reportedly sent secret warnings to Russia threatening to take action if Moscow offered cash to the Taliban in exchange for killing American troops - despite Trump dismissing reports of the bounties as 'fake news.' The Defense Department has been in 'serious' talks with Moscow over claims that a Russian military intelligence unit offered payments - running as high as $100,000 -and weapons for every U.S. or allied soldier the Taliban killed in Afghanistan, The Daily Beast reported, citing anonymous sources. Two senior officials told the website the warnings were issued in June, when the New York Times published a report claiming U.S. intelligence found evidence of the bounties which had been included in Trump's presidential daily briefing in...
    The U.S. commander in chief spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone last week, but he did not raise the issue of claims that Russia has offered the Taliban bounties to kill American service members in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump told Axios in an interview that will air on HBO that he has never spoken to Putin about reports alleging Russian bounties might be connected to the deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, possibly including three Marines killed there in April 2019. The July 23 phone call with Putin, Trump said, was “to discuss other things.” Read Next: Lawmakers Grill Guard Officer on Claims Police Used Excessive Force on DC Protesters “A lot of people said it’s a fake...
    Axios’ Jonathan Swan appeared on MSNBC Wednesday night to discuss his new interview with President Donald Trump and the preview already released showing him confronting the president on the alleged Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops. Lawrence O’Donnell played the full exchange for his audience, commending the way Swan grilled Trump on the subject — something that other journalists noted the president wasn’t getting asked about in several recent interviews. Trump told Swan he didn’t raise the matter in his recent call with Vladimir Putin. “To go that long without being questioned seriously on this matter,” Swan said, “was unacceptable. And it’s not a matter that’s sort of boutique or niche or outside the realm of American...
    The U.S. State Department has issued warnings to Russia that there will be repercussions if Moscow pays bounties to the Taliban for successfully killing American soldiers, according to two senior American officials and another individual with knowledge of the matter. The warnings were issued through the department’s diplomatic channels after public news reports in June that the U.S. had gathered intelligence about the Russian bounties, those officials said. One official described the communications as “serious.” Another said that Moscow responded by denying the reports it had set up or funded a bounty program to kill U.S. troops. These secret warnings stand in contrast to what President Trump has said about the intelligence in question. In an interview earlier this week,...
    In a Wednesday interview with Axios, Donald Trump claimed that he did not bring up the alleged Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in his July 23 phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Daily Caller reported. “That was a phone call to discuss other things,” Trump said. “And, frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.” According to Trump, the subject of the call was nuclear proliferation. The United States leader said he has yet to broach the subject of the alleged bounties with Putin but claimed he would have no problem doing so. The real estate mogul also denied ever seeing the information on the matter, which was reportedly included in his daily briefing in...
    Source: Axios.com Joe Biden's presidential campaign blasted President Donald Trump's conduct as "absolutely despicable" after Trump said he did not ask in a recent call with Russian President Vladmir Putin about alleged Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump also said, when asked by the news site Axios about statements from a top American commander that Russia was arming Taliban fighters who fought U.S. troops, "Well, we supplied weapons when they were fighting Russia too." Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the presumptive Democratic nominee Biden, in a statement said, "The most critical and sacred obligation of a commander-in-chief is to protect those who serve our nation in harm's way." "But months after the U.S. intelligence community sounded the alarm...
    Madison Summers July 29, 2020 0 Comments President Donald Trump is being confronted on if he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops. When asked during an interview with “Axios on HBO” on Tuesday about the intelligence Russia allegedly paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops and if he brought the subject up during his phone call with Putin on Thursday. “No, that was a phone call to discuss other things,” the president responded, adding, “And frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.” When pressed again on the issue, Trump said, “I have never discussed it with him.” As Axios reports, the U.S. president has talked...
    Journalists and other media figures on Twitter reacted with shock over President Donald Trump’s revelation that he did not ask Vladimir Putin about reports of Russian government bounties on U.S. soldiers, and over his explanation for that failure. Trump’s revelation, made in an interview clip posted by Axios Wednesday morning, was met with sharp criticism. CNN’s Jim Sciutto called the news “deeply disturbing,” and said one of Trump’s explanations was a Russian talking point. This is deeply disturbing. Beyond admitting he never raised Russian bounties intel to Putin in at least 8 conversations, asked about Russia arming the Taliban, Trump says “Well, we supplied weapons when they were fighting Russia, too”. A Russian talking pt https://t.co/6yZkyPMyXo — Jim Sciutto...
    President Donald Trump said in a Wednesday interview with Axios that he did not bring up in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin reports that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. and coalition forces. Trump spoke July 23 with Putin, but has since deflected when asked specifically what the two discussed. He has now confirmed to Axios he did not bring up the issue. Many U.S. politicians heavily criticized Russia when the intelligence community reported the bounties. Trump, however, remains skeptical. “That was a phone call to discuss other things,” he said. “And, frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.” NEW: President Trump tells @jonathanvswan on #AxiosOnHBO that he didn’t raise...
    In this July 7, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. Associated Press/Evan Vucci President Donald Trump won’t say if he’s confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin on reports that Russia paid Afghan militants bounties to kill US troops.  “We don’t talk about what we discussed, but we had plenty of discussion,” Trump said on Monday when asked if he discussed the matter with Putin during a recent phone call.  But Trump has frequently offered the public details on various discussions he’s had with world leaders, including his Russian counterpart.  Last Thursday’s phone call marked Trump’s first discussion...
    President Donald Trump was confronted about whether he spoke with President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s involvement in a Taliban bounty program that incentivized the killing of United States troops during an address in North Carolina Monday afternoon. Kevin Freking of the Associated Press asked, “You did talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and I wanted to ask if you did bring it up reports of Russia having bounties on our soldiers?” “We don’t talk about what we discuss,” Trump responded. “But we had plenty of discussion, and I think it was very productive.” A June 26 report from the New York Times cited U.S. intelligence officials detailing a Russia-funded bounty program to kill US soldiers. It also claimed Trump knew about...
    Jacquelyn Martin/Getty Images Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged Wednesday he had spoken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the topic of Russia placing bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. “You spoke with the Russian foreign minister this week. Did the reported bounties on U.S. troops come up and/or Russia’s support for the Taliban?” Pompeo was asked in an interview with The Hill. “Yes, of course,” Pompeo replied. “We talked about Afghanistan a great deal and the need to achieve the outcome that President Trump has set forth, which is to get America’s role there greatly reduced as quickly as possible, ultimately get our combat forces out of Afghanistan in a way that leads to a peaceful reconciliation among...
    Former national security adviser and potential Joe Biden vice presidential pick Susan Rice said Tuesday she believes President Trump “knew and has chosen not to act” on intelligence that Russian officials had paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants in exchange for the deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. “The president does nothing when this information is brought to him, and I believe it was brought to him both in written form and perhaps by one of my successors, John Bolton,” Rice claimed in a Washington Post livestream interview. “I believe one way or another the president knew and has chosen not to act,” she continued. But Bolton, who left the national security office in September 2019, has said he would have...
    Senate Democrats are demanding they be allowed to see any copies of intelligence briefs that were presented to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE regarding evidence that Russia was paying the Taliban bounties for attacks on U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. In a letter to the White House spearheaded by Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDuckworth says Trump, Carlson questioning her patriotism to distract from president's 'failure to lead our nation' Biden strikes populist tone in blistering...
    Savannah Rychcik July 10, 2020 0 Comments  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) are leading the charge in calling on President Donald Trump to grant them access to daily intelligence briefings discussing reports suggesting Russia paid Taliban-linked militants to assassinate U.S. troops. In a letter sent to Trump, signed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and others, the lawmakers suggested access to these briefings could provide more information on why Trump did not respond. The Democrats alleged Trump offered Russia leniency on his Twitter account and the group reiterated national security should be a top priority. “In fact, you appeared to offer aid and sympathy to Russia by writing on Twitter on June 29, 2020: ‘Intel...
    Start the clock on Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley. It’s been clear for some time that Milley is tired of supporting Trump’s misuse of the military and efforts to insert active forces into nonviolent protests. Milley was pulled into Trump’s attack on protesters in Lafayette Square and the wholly inappropriate stroll across the street so Trump could wave a Bible over a deserted church, but following that event, Milley apologized for being part of Trump’s PR stunt, saying, “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” But criticizing Trump’s actions is one thing. On Thursday, Milley did the one thing unforgivable for...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top diplomat on Friday dismissed U.S. intelligence information alleging that Moscow offered bounties to the Taliban for killing American soldiers as a product of election year politics in Washington. U.S. intelligence officials said information about Russia’s alleged bounties on the heads of troops in Afghanistan was included in an intelligence brief for President Donald Trump in late February. The White House has denied Trump received the information at that time, arguing that the intelligence wasn’t credible enough to bring to the president’s attention. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the intelligence claims as a sham. The intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties were first reported by The New York Times, then confirmed to The Associated...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top diplomat on Friday dismissed U.S. intelligence information alleging that Moscow offered bounties to the Taliban for killing American soldiers as a product of election year politics in Washington. U.S. intelligence officials said information about Russia's alleged bounties on the heads of troops in Afghanistan was included in an intelligence brief for President Donald Trump in late February. The White House has denied Trump received the information at that time, arguing that the intelligence wasn't credible enough to bring to the president's attention. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the intelligence claims as a sham. The intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties were first reported by The New York Times, then confirmed to The Associated Press...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top diplomat on Friday dismissed U.S. intelligence information alleging that Moscow offered bounties to the Taliban for killing American soldiers as a product of election year politics in Washington. U.S. intelligence officials said information about Russia’s alleged bounties on the heads of troops in Afghanistan was included in an intelligence brief for President Donald Trump in late February. The White House has denied Trump received the information at that time, arguing that the intelligence wasn’t credible enough to bring to the president’s attention. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the intelligence claims as a sham. The intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties were first reported by The New York Times, then confirmed to The Associated...
    By Zachary Cohen | CNN Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed Thursday that he had been briefed on information regarding Russian payments to the Taliban, seemingly acknowledging that Russia’s support for the militant group in Afghanistan is not a “hoax,” as President Donald Trump has claimed. However, Esper also made clear that he has not seen intelligence that corroborates claims that American troops were killed as a result of the “bounty” payments, walking a delicate line between acknowledging a well-known threat and potentially clashing with the President. Esper’s comments came during a long-awaited appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, where lawmakers had their first opportunity to ask the defense secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen....
    (CNN)Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed Thursday that he had been briefed on information regarding Russian payments to the Taliban, seemingly acknowledging that Russia's support for the militant group in Afghanistan is not a "hoax," as President Donald Trump has claimed. However, Esper also made clear that he has not seen intelligence that corroborates claims that American troops were killed as a result of the "bounty" payments, walking a delicate line between acknowledging a well-known threat and potentially clashing with the President.Esper's comments came during a long-awaited appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, where lawmakers had their first opportunity to ask the defense secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley about their knowledge of...
    Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he was not briefed on alleged Russian “bounties” to kill US troops in Afghanistan — and that he would have been if there was credible intelligence. Esper’s under-oath testimony Thursday to the House Armed Services Committee follows a bombshell report last month that claimed President Trump was briefed on Russian bounties and didn’t act. Trump denies he was briefed and denounced the report as “another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me.” Esper’s testimony implicitly supports Trump’s version of events. “Congressman, to the best of my recollection I have not received a briefing that included the word bounty,” Esper testified. “If it was a credible report — that’s important,...
    (CNN) — Sen. Tammy Duckworth is demanding more details about Russian bounties that were offered to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan and sent a new letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday voicing her frustration with the information provided by the Pentagon to date. The Illinois Democrat, who is a combat veteran and considered to be a top candidate to become former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 election, called a recent closed briefing by the Pentagon to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the issue of Russian bounties inadequate and claimed defense officials “were unprepared to respond to questions related to the disturbing public reports.” “It is unacceptable that to date, the Trump administration...
    Washington (CNN)Sen. Tammy Duckworth is demanding more details about Russian bounties that were offered to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan and sent a new letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday voicing her frustration with the information provided by the Pentagon to date. The Illinois Democrat, who is a combat veteran and considered to be a top candidate to become former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate in the 2020 election, called a recent closed briefing by the Pentagon to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the issue of Russian bounties inadequate and claimed defense officials "were unprepared to respond to questions related to the disturbing public reports."Tammy Duckworth, now in VP spotlight, wont say if...
    Savannah Rychcik July 9, 2020 0 Comments Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is pressing the Department of Defense (DOD) for more details about its investigation into reports suggesting Russian operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. In her letter addressed to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Duckworth called the closed briefing provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) “disappointing.” She alleged the two witnesses provided by the department were “unprepared” to answer questions about the reports. Duckworth went on to slam President Donald Trump for his failure to respond appropriately to the intelligence. “It is unacceptable that to date, the Trump administration appears to be ignoring a matter of great importance to Gold Star Family members whose loved ones were killed while...
    WASHINGTON — A growing chorus of American officials have said in recent days that the intelligence suggesting Russians paid “bounties” to induce the Taliban to kill American service members in Afghanistan is less than conclusive. But the debate about that narrow and contested issue distracts from a larger, often-overlooked consensus, current and former military and intelligence officials say. U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed for years that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is supporting America’s enemies in Afghanistan with cash and weapons. And President Donald Trump has said nothing publicly about it, even as he has pursued warmer relations with Putin and Russia, including ordering his intelligence agencies to cooperate with Russia in the Middle East. “We should always remember, the Russians are...
    The top general of U.S. Central Command said Tuesday he is concerned about intelligence that Russia has paid Taliban fighters to target American troops in Afghanistan, but that he has not seen evidence the alleged bounty program has resulted in the death of U.S. soldiers. “I found it very worrisome, I just didn’t find that there was a causative link there,” Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., one of the highest-ranking U.S. generals overseeing operations in the Middle East, told a group of reporters, according to ABC News. “You see a lot of indicators, many of them are troubling many of them you act on. But, but in this case there just there wasn’t enough there.” “I sent the intelligence guys...
    Savannah Rychcik July 5, 2020 0 Comments Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice is slamming President Donald Trump for failing to appropriately respond to intelligence reports suggesting Russian operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The White House and the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe previously denied Trump was initially briefed on the issue. Rice appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” where she was asked why Trump had six subsequent phone calls with Vladimir Putin following the revelation of the intelligence and why he did not did not raise the issue to him. Rice argued this is the time to think of consequences for Putin rather than catering to him. “This is not the time to be...
    Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) slammed President Donald Trump for using his 4th of July to go after his political enemies instead of doing more to address America’s most pressing concerns. In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Duckworth was asked for her reaction to the Mt. Rushmore speech where Trump blasted leftist demonstrators leading protests against monuments. This was a recurring theme from Trump over the weekend, for he also used a speech from the White House on Saturday to go after “Marxists” and “the far-left.” As Bash asked Duckworth to elaborate her stance over the statue debate, the senator called for “a national dialogue” on the matter, but she also described the topic as a distraction from...
    Former national security adviser John Bolton refused to say whether he briefed President Trump on the issue of Russia placing bounties on the heads of U.S. troops. President Barack Obama's former national security adviser Susan Rice said on Sunday that she was confident that Bolton, her predecessor, would have told Trump about the Russian bounties as soon as the information was available in 2019. CBS host Margaret Brennan later asked Bolton on Face the Nation if he did what Rice described, but he did not directly answer. "I’ve said in countless other interviews, I’m not gonna disclose classified information. I’ve got a struggle with the president trying to repress my book on that score already. I will say...
    There is a "real problem" in the U.S. intelligence community if the leakers are going to have to investigate themselves, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., pointed out Saturday. In an interview on "Fox & Friends Weekend," Nunes reacted after attending a classified briefing on Thursday with congressional leaders -- including the “Gang of Eight” -- and the country's top intelligence officials amid demands for more information on reports that Russian agents offered Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan thousands of dollars in bounties for killing American troops. GANG OF EIGHT BRIEFED BY INTELLIGENCE CHIEFS ON RUSSIA BOUNTY ALLEGATIONS "What can you tell us about what you were briefed on and did what you were briefed on warrant, in your opinion, a response?" asked host Griff Jenkins. In this file photo...
    The U.S.’s envoy to Afghanistan signaled Saturday that Washington intends to continue pursuing a peace deal with the Taliban despite recent reports of its involvement in carrying out Russian bounties on U.S. and coalition servicemembers in the country. Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been carrying out negotiations with the militant group and has pushed for the implementation of a peace deal signed in February, was completing a week-long trip to Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Qatar, where the Taliban negotiation team is headquartered. Khalilzad sent a series of tweets Saturday touting the economic benefits of the February agreement, saying implementing the deal would benefit all parties.  “In follow on mtg w/ the Taliban, we underscored the econ development oppts that will follow a...
    Lucian K. Truscott IV July 4, 2020 12:00PM (UTC) The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP. But at least as interesting as the facts in the story was this gem a few paragraphs down: "Spokespeople at the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department and the C.I.A. declined to comment," the Times reported,...
    Citing 3 officials, the paper reported that the Countrywide Intelligence Council, led by Director of Countrywide Intelligence John Ratcliffe, wrote the two-and-a-50 percent webpage memo, which was dated on Wednesday — just times right after the Instances to start with documented previous week on intelligence officials’ awareness of the bounties and the White House’s subsequent inaction.The officers instructed the Times that the timing and highlights of the memo, which is mentioned to consist of no new particulars, indicate that it aimed to fortify the administration’s endeavours to protect being silent to the news. Various former nationwide safety officers instructed the paper that the memo’s depiction instructed that it might have been swayed by political intentions. The memo states that the...
    (CNN)A recent memo from the council helmed by the nation's intelligence chief confirmed accounts that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan -- but cast the reports as incomplete and potentially dubious, The New York Times reported Friday.Citing three officials, the paper reported that the National Intelligence Council, led by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, wrote the two-and-a-half page memo, which was dated on Wednesday -- just days after the Times first reported last week on intelligence officials' knowledge of the bounties and the White House's subsequent inaction.The officials told the Times that the timing and highlights of the memo, which is said to contain no new details, imply that it aimed to fortify...
    Retired Gen. Jack Keane said on Friday that his sources in the military could not corroborate the report that Russia placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. “The problem is none of the other intelligence agencies or I think some of the other countries that are involved in Afghanistan along with us can verify that,” Keane told “Fox & Friends.” BAIER PRESSES POMPEO ON BOUNTY REPORT: 'DOES THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HAVE AMERICAN BLOOD ON ITS HANDS'? The country's top intelligence officials on Thursday held a classified briefing with congressional leaders amid demands for more information on the reports that Russian agents offered Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan thousands of dollars in bounties for killing American troops. Top intelligence officials, including CIA chief Director...
    WASHINGTON - Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s rebuke of President Donald Trump’s handling of allegations that Russians paid bounties for the killing of American soldiers reflects his longstanding criticism of the president on national security and foreign policy.  However, on closer inspection the two presidential rivals are not that far apart on key issues, such as ending foreign wars, protecting American jobs, and countering China’s aggression. On Tuesday, Biden slammed Trump’s passive response to intelligence reports that Russians paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, claiming he was not briefed, and the reports were not credible. “The idea that somehow he didn't know or isn't being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty. If that's the...
    Jorge Silva/AFP via Getty You pay to kill our troops—we won’t invite you to our meeting of world leaders. That’s the scenario being mulled by senior officials in the upper echelons of the Trump administration, who are scrambling for a way to respond to Russia after news broke that Moscow paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. forces. One idea these officials have raised with President Donald Trump in recent days: not inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin from attending the G7 summit of global powers later this year. President Trump told reporters in late May that he wanted to invite Russia to the meeting (which used to be known as the G8, until Russia was suspended for annexing...
    Savannah Rychcik July 2, 2020 0 Comments Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, is suggesting President Donald Trump had the right to know about intelligence reports suggesting Russian operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The co-host of Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Trace Gallagher, asked McCaul to explain what one of the intelligence agencies means when it argues the Russian bounties intelligence is “not valid” and “not actionable.” McCaul explained when the intelligence came out, one agency had a dissenting view about the credibility of the intelligence. According to McCaul, when there is a different point of view within the intelligence community, it is up to the briefer to make the decision of...
    The two top Democrats in Congress said Thursday that any threats to U.S. troops must be pursued “relentlessly,” rebuking President Donald Trump after receiving a highly classified briefing about intelligence that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump, who has downplayed the threat, was “soft” on Russian President Vladimir Putin and distracted by less important issues. Trump has called reports of the intelligence assessments a “hoax” and has so far declined to address whether the U.S. has or will respond to Russia. “Our armed forces would be better served if President Trump spent more time reading his daily briefing and less time planning military parades and...
    A new report alleges that top committee staff for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), were briefed in February about Russia offering the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, but Schiff remained inactive vis-à-vis the issue. According to The Federalist’s Sean Davis and Mollie Hemingway, “multiple intelligence sources familiar with the briefing” said it occurred when a congressional delegation made a trip to Afghanistan in February. Davis and Hemingway note that Schiff was asked on Tuesday if he knew about the Russia story before it was printed by The New York Times report, and Schiff answered, “I can’t comment on specifics.” They point out, “As chairman of the intelligence committee, Schiff had the authority to immediately brief the full committee...
    The country's top intelligence officials on Thursday held a classified briefing with congressional leaders amid demands for more information on the reports that Russian agents offered Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan thousands of dollars in bounties for killing American troops. Top intelligence officials, including CIA chief Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, held the briefing Thursday afternoon with members of the so-called “Gang of Eight”: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the top Republicans and Democrats on the two intelligence committees. “Force protection is a primary purpose of intelligence. It should have the same importance to the Commander-in-Chief.  Any reports of threats on our troops must be pursued relentlessly," Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader...
    By MARY CLARE JALONICK and MATTHEW DALY WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. intelligence chiefs conducted classified briefings Thursday for congressional leaders who have demanded more answers about intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump has called news reports about the assessments a “hoax,” but hasn’t directly addressed their substance or whether the U.S. has or will respond to Russia. Top intelligence officials, including CIA chief Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, conducted the closed-door briefing for a group of lawmakers dubbed the “gang of eight” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the top Republicans and Democrats on the two intelligence committees. The group...
    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was among the loudest Republican voices in Congress screaming about the attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya back in 2012. But he apparently has no problem with President Donald Trump’s decision to ignore intelligence about Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan.  In fact, during a Thursday morning appearance on Fox & Friends, Graham actually used the Benghazi attack to defend Trump and accuse his Democratic colleagues of hypocrisy. After co-host Brian Kilmeade quoted Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who accused Trump of committing “treason,” Graham fired back by asking: “Where were all these Democrats when Benghazi was on fire, when they were calling for help from the consulate? The president of the United States Obama...
    By MARY CLARE JALONICK, MATTHEW LEE and JAMES LaPORTA WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials will provide a classified briefing for congressional leaders Thursday about intelligence assessment that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The meeting comes as President Donald Trump, who says he wasn’t briefed on the information because it wasn’t verified, is under increasing pressure to provide answers about the U.S. response to Russia or the lack of one. Democrats briefed at the White House this week suggested Trump was bowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the risk of U.S. soldiers’ lives. Intelligence officials, including CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, will brief the so-called Gang of Eight lawmakers —...
    Fox News host Brian Kilmeade defended President Donald Trump over the intelligence regarding Russian bounties to Taliban militias, arguing “it is not big news” that militants in Afghanistan want to kill Americans, with or without a cash incentive. On Thursday, Fox & Friends addressed the controversy surrounding whether or not Trump was briefed on the intel that Russia offered bounties for the killing of U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan. After the show aired a clip of Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) calling it “treason” for Trump to disregard the Russian intel, Kilmeade responded by touching on the questions about whether the information was verifiable. “Before you take action against other nation, especially against Russia, you usually get more [intel], and it...
    WASHINGTON - Top U.S. intelligence officials are set to brief key members of Congress Thursday on what is known -- and what is not known -- about an alleged Russian plot to pay militants for attacks on American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The White House confirmed CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone will meet with members of the so-called Gang of Eight. The meeting will be the first chance for lawmakers to hear directly from veteran intelligence officials about reports that Russia was offering Taliban-linked militants bounties to target and kill U.S. and allied troops. Until now, briefings on the allegations have been led by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, a former...
    WASHINGTON - Top U.S. intelligence officials are set to brief key members of Congress about what is known — and what is not known — about an alleged Russian plot to pay militants for attacks on American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The White House on Wednesday confirmed CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone would meet with members of the so-called Gang of Eight on Thursday. The meeting will be the first chance for lawmakers to hear directly from veteran intelligence officials about reports that Russia was offering Taliban-linked militants bounties to target and kill U.S. and allied troops. Until now, briefings on the allegations have been led by Director of National Intelligence John...
    In the days since The New York Times broke the news on U.S. intelligence examining claims of Russian bounties being offered to kill American military personnel in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump has turned his ire not at the Russian government, but instead on two of his favorite enemies: the news media and their confidential sources. According to two people familiar with the matter, the president in recent days has privately expressed—“rather loudly,” in the words of one of the sources—his desire for a leak investigation into how that story ended up in the Times, and his wish for the leaker or leakers to face a heavy prison sentence. This happens as the president publicly trashes the Times reporting as yet...
    Senate Democrats are requesting a briefing on financial wire transfers intercepted by U.S. intelligence connected to reports of bounties being offered by Russian forces to incentivize Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. According to The New York Times, which first reported the intelligence last week, U.S. analysts concluded that large financial transfers intercepted by the U.S. were likely bounties from the GRU, Moscow's military intelligence agency, to the Taliban.  Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities IRS chief pledges to work with Congress on examining tax code's...
    Fox News contributor and former House Intelligence Committee member Trey Gowdy told "Your World" Wednesday that if intelligence officials had deemed information that Russia offered Taliban-linked militants bounties for the deaths of American soldiers to be credible, President Trump would have been briefed on it immediately. "By what quantum of information or evidence [do] you need to know something before you brief the commander-in-chief?" Gowdy asked host Neil Cavuto. "If there is a one percent chance it is true, are you going to tell him about it? Probably not." The White House has vehemently denied that President Trump was briefed on the issue despite reporting to the contrary. The New York Times reported late Monday that the bounty issue was in the written President's Daily Brief earlier this year. It has been widely reported, however, that Trump does not...
    Former National Security Advisor John BoltonJohn BoltonJudge temporarily blocks publication of Mary Trump book The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter Democrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing MORE told CBS’s "The Takeout Podcast" that he would have personally briefed President TrumpDonald John TrumpUtah Lieutenant Gov. Cox leads Huntsman in close governor's race Trump tweets 'we all miss' Ailes after swiping at Fox Former NFL player Burgess Owens wins Utah GOP primary MORE on intelligence that Russia paid secret bounties to militants to kill U.S troops.  The intelligence, first reported by the New York Times, found that the Russian military intelligence unit GRU had been secretly paying bounties to...
    Rudy Giuliani made a surprise appearance at the White House on Wednesday and answered reporters questions on a number of topics although he declined to say what he was doing in Washington. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, serves as President Donald Trump's personal attorney and, at one point, served as the administration's cyber czar. He was also a figure during the president's impeachment process as investigators raised questions about the former mayor's clients in the Ukraine. In his unexpected appearance on the White House driveway, Giuliani spent about four minutes answering questions from the press were he called the person who leaked the information on Russian bounties a 'deep state criminal', said presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden was...
    EX-spies have called President Donald Trump’s claim that he didn’t know about Russian "bounties" on US troops "horses**t." The CIA's former chief of Russia operations, Steve Hall, told Business Insider: "The White House's claim that this information was not conveyed to Trump because there wasn't a consensus on its credibility is "horses***." 5 President Donald Trump has claimed that he didn’t know about Russian 'bounties' on US troopsCredit: EPA 5 Steve Hall was interviewed by Business Insider, along with two other CIA veteransCredit: Twitter His comments come after reports on Monday claimed that Trump was given a written briefing in February that said the Russian military paid bounties to militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan - which Trump has...
    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that he was not briefed on potential Russian bounties on US troops because it "didn't rise to the occasion," and that "many" intelligence officers "didn't believe it happened at all."Trump made the claim despite conflicting reports -- including a US official telling CNN that intelligence about the bounties was included in the President's Daily Brief sometime this spring."I'm sure I don't see many things that they don't think rose to the occasion," Trump said, while claiming not to have been briefed on the intelligence. "This didn't rise to the occasion. And from what I hear -- and I hear it pretty good, the intelligence people -- many of them -- didn't believe it happened...
    Savannah Rychcik July 1, 2020 0 Comments National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien came to President Donald Trump’s defense on Wednesday reiterating the administration’s claim that the president was not previously briefed on intelligence that said Russia placed bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. O’Brien appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” to address reports Trump was briefed on the intelligence months ago.  O’Brien called the story “unfortunate” on “multiple levels.”  He went on to argue there is no one more concerned about the American people and armed forces than Trump.  O’Brien also claimed no one has been tougher on Russia since the Cold War than Trump. He then pivoted and said Trump was not initially briefed on the intelligence. ...
    Do you think the president is reluctant to kill anyone — Russian or otherwise — who tries to kill Americans? If so, think again. Better yet, ask anyone in the Iranian regime. Iran just put out an arrest warrant for the president of the United States. His alleged crime: ordering an attack on General Qasem Soleimani. That order came in January when the president received solid intelligence that Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, had deliberately targeted American soldiers in Iraq. Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike shortly thereafter. TRUMP CLAIMS RUSSIA BOUNTY STORY A 'HOAX," AS CONTROVERSY MOUNTS There is a lesson there. If the White House had solid intelligence about the GRU, the foreign military-intelligence agency of the Russian armed forces, offering bounties for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan (as alleged by some recent media reporting led by The New York...
    Bradley Cortright July 1, 2020 0 Comments Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he will not get into details about reports that Russian operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and suggested that some news organizations put lives at risk by reporting on the alleged bounties.  During a press briefing on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked if he believed President Donald Trump should have been briefed on intelligence assessments that Russian operatives were putting bounties on U.S. soldiers.  He fired back by suggesting that reporters were missing some context on the process officials go through when the brief the president on potential threats.  “You’ve got assumptions about things that just don’t reflect what it is...
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that US spy agencies responded “incredibly well” to intelligence on possible Russian bounties for killing US troops in Afghanistan. Pompeo said Russia undercutting the US in the almost 19-year Taliban insurgency “is nothing new” and that members of Congress have long been aware of it. “We took this seriously, we handle it appropriately. The Russians have been selling small arms that have put Americans at risk there for 10 years. We’ve objected to it … When I meet with my Russian counterparts, I talk with them about this each time. ‘Stop this,'” Pompeo said at a press conference. Pompeo, a former CIA director, pivoted between coyly declining to confirm reports on the alleged...
    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Wednesday that the reason President Trump was not briefed on the alleged Russian bounties placed on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was that the information was “not verified.” “In fact, the career CIA briefer to the president of the United States, not a political appointee, decided against including it in the briefing,” Conway told “Fox & Friends.” Conway said professionals and career CIA briefers want to know that intelligence is verified before it rises to the president. "Don't be fooled, Americans," Conway said. PENTAGON SAYS 'NO CORROBORATING' EVIDENCE TO STAND UP NYT REPORT ON RUSSIAN BOUNTIES Top Democrats in the House of Representatives visited the White House on Tuesday for a briefing on the alleged bounties and who knew...
    Kellyanne Conway used questions about alleged Russian bounties to Taliban militias as a launchpad to blast the media for covering the frequent political intersection between President Donald Trump and Russia. On Wednesday, the White House adviser appeared on Fox & Friends, where she was asked about reports Trump was briefed on the intel that Russia secretly offered bounties to incentivize the killing of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Conway began by calling it “rich with irony” for Joe Biden to bash Trump’s “cognitive capability” and “dereliction of duty” on the subject. After pronouncing Biden “unfit” to be president and reiterating the Trump administration’s counterclaim to reports that the president was briefed months ago, Conway suggested House Democrats were aware of...
    Today is the day that the Gang of Eight—both Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate—are set to be briefed on the intelligence behind Russia’s scheme to murder American soldiers and destroy the peace process in Afghanistan by offering bounties to Taliban militants. Naturally, this briefing begins with a tweet from Donald Trump describing the entire story as a “hoax” cooked up by The New York Times. Which naturally ignores that the information has now been confirmed by the Washington Post, CNN, NBC … pretty much everyone. Intelligence even has the receipts showing transfer of funds from Russia to the Taliban. Really, the only questions on the matter seem to be the ones that have been hauled out so...
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement Tuesday night that while the Pentagon has “no corroborating evidence” to support the explosive report last week that the Russian military was offering Taliban-linked militants bounties to kill American troops, he will continue to make sure any potential threat is taken seriously. He said the Defense Department chain of command “and I are fully committed to ensuring American forces in the field have the best intelligence, weapons, equipment, protective gear, tactics, and all necessary authorities to deal with any threats they might face in order to ensure their safety and mission success.” VideoThe New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported Friday that it is believed that some “Islamist militants” or “criminal elements”...
    WHITE House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, abandoned attempts to discredit an intelligence report that Russians were offering bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan and instead criticized those who leaked the information to the New York Times. On Tuesday, McEnany also insisted that President Trump “does read” the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) after years of reports stating that he doesn’t and claimed he is the “most informed on planet earth.” 4 White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blasted the 'rouge intelligence officers' and claimed Trump is 'the most informed person on planet earth'Credit: AP:Associated Press The press secretary sounded off on The Times publication of the leaked intelligence report, “The front page of the New York Times is not the venue...
    The Trump administration is arranging a closed-door briefing on Wednesday for the so-called Gang of Eight House and Senate leaders regarding reports that Russian operatives in Afghanistan offered bounties to kill American troops. No specific time or location has been determined for the session, which would be conducted by U.S. intelligence officials, according to two people familiar with the matter. The Gang of Eight is one avenue that Congress receives classified information from the executive branch. It includes Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House and Senate Minority Leaders Kevin McCarthy and Chuck Schumer, and the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. Earlier Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff commented at...
    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made the bold claim Tuesday that President Trump was the most informed person in the world.  'The president does read and he also consumes intelligence verbally,' McEnany said. 'This president, I'll tell you, is the most informed person on planet earth.'  McEnany was being asked if the intelligence that said Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers was in the President's Daily Brief, with the reporter suggesting that Trump might not have read it.  White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that President Trump was the 'most informed person on planet earth' after a White House reporter suggested that he may have missed intelligence on Russia paying bounties...
    Bradley Cortright June 30, 2020 0 Comments The White House now says President Donald Trump has been briefed on reports that Russian operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. During her press briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “The president has been briefed on what is unfortunately in the public domain because of The New York Times.” “But that does not change the fact that there is no consensus on this intelligence that still has yet to be verified,” she added.Watch the video below: The New York Times reported on Friday that Russian operatives offered cash rewards to Taliban militias to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and that Trump had been briefed on the...
    Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton derided President Donald Trump on Tuesday after he claimed that he had not been informed of key intelligence on the safety of US troops despite it reportedly being in his daily briefing.The White House in recent days has maintained that the President had no knowledge of an effort by a Russian military intelligence unit to pay the Taliban to kill US soldiers. Clinton didn't mince words when she responded to a tweet from legendary singer Barbra Streisand, a vocal critic of the President, criticizing Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic."Can you imagine how President Hillary Clinton - a Woman with a powerful mind - would have handled this pandemic?" Streisand wrote. "I would have read my damn...
    Joe Biden said Tuesday that President Donald Trump has a “lot to answer for” amid reports that he was advised as early as March 2019 of intelligence that suggested Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans. “It’s an absolute dereliction of duty if any of this is even remotely true,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, after giving a speech excoriating Trumps handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden stopped short of saying Trump had violated his oath of office or should face any consequences from Congress, which has already impeached and tried him on charges related to his handling of foreign affairs. But, Biden, said, “if these allegations are true and...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top Republican Senators on Tuesday cast doubt and skepticism on reports that Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill members of the U.S. armed services, after receiving a White House briefing. Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe told reporters on Capitol Hill he is convinced that Trump did not know about the bounties while Senator Joni Ernst said the briefing provided "no corroboration" on the reports. Meanwhile Senator Todd Young said the New York Times and Washington Post, first to report on possible Russian efforts to reward members of the Taliban for attacks on U.S. troops, had relied on "unverified and inconclusive" intelligence. (Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Richard Cowan, Editing by Franklin Paul) Copyright 2020 Thomson...
    Republicans were outraged at the idea of Russia placing a bounty for the killing of American forces. Or at least they were so long as they thought surely Donald Trump hadn’t known about that one. Now that it’s clear Trump very much did know, Republicans are starting to move to a new position—one that says a foreign nation engaging in proxy war against the United States by paying for the murder of American forces is simply not worthy of Trump’s time. To simplify the questions that come up in most scandals: How much did Donald Trump know? Everything. When did he know it? A year ago.  Next up is sure to be the “But Putin denies it, so everything’s cool” phase. However, before Republicans...
    Bradley Cortright June 30, 2020 0 Comments Congressional Republicans are pushing back on reports that Russian intelligence operatives placed bounties on U.S. soldiers after they received a briefing from the White House on the matter.  Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told reporters on Tuesday, “I think that reporting was absolutely inaccurate. I had a briefing this morning and I know that the evidence is not corroborated.” “We take threats seriously. At the tactical level, obviously making sure our positions are hardened and we’re watching out for adversaries,” she added.  Several Republican senators were briefed by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on the reports on Tuesday.  Ernst said that briefing was “very...
    Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenRussian bounty intel was included in Trump's daily briefing: reports House Dems to offer up road map to solve the climate crisis Supreme Court ruling could unleash new legal challenges to consumer bureau MORE on Tuesday said that he will likely request a classified briefing on intelligence that Russia offered bounties to incentivize Taliban-connected militants to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.  “As this proceeds, I may very well do that," Biden told reporters after an address in Wilmington, Del., adding that the Trump administration had not yet offered to give him a classified briefing on the matter. The New York Times first reported on Friday that the GRU, Moscow's military intelligence agency, had offered the bounties to Afghan...
    Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday that Congress has to get to the bottom of the issue of Russia reportedly placing bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. “When did this administration know this information? Was it elevated to the president? If not, why not and why have they not taken significant action?” Rose told “America’s Newsroom.” “We are talking here about a leading global power putting a bounty on our soldiers. Soldiers' lives on the line and when our soldiers signed up for the military, they made a promise to us and we made a promise to them that we’ll have their backs. That’s all that we’re trying to get to the bottom of here,” Rose said, adding that the most important...
    Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstWhere things stand in 13 battleground states OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump nominates controversial, longtime acting head of BLM as director | Ernst sinks vote on Trump EPA nominee | Massive dust storm from Africa hits Texas, Louisiana Ernst sinks vote on Trump EPA nominee MORE (R-Iowa) told reporters Tuesday that bombshell media reports that Russia’s military intelligence paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops is “absolutely inaccurate,” making the claim after she and other Republicans were briefed at the White House. “I think that reporting was absolutely inaccurate. I had a briefing this morning and I know that the evidence is not corroborated,” she said, emphasizing that she was putting “evidence” in air quotes. “We...
    WASHINGTON - Senior U.S. lawmakers walked out of a White House briefing early Tuesday, saying they are not satisfied with what the administration had to say about allegations Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.   The briefing, the second in as many days, was set up to share intelligence about the alleged Russian plot with senior Democratic lawmakers, following a similar briefing late Monday with members of President Donald Trump’s party.   “The most concerning part about it is that the White House didn’t have very clear answers,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Adam Smith, told reporters, following Tuesday’s White House briefing.   “Very concerning to me was that their...
    Tuesday on Fox News, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) weighed in on reports that Russia had offered bounties to the Taliban for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan and subsequent comments made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the situation. Schumer accused Trump of not knowing or knowing and not doing anything about it, to which McCarthy responded by calling out Schumer for playing politics with American lives. “I think it’s worse is what Chuck Schumer is playing into,” McCarthy explained. “He’s playing politics with American lives by saying what he’s saying. We all know that Russia is dangerous to America. That’s why this administration — the Trump administration changed from the Obama administration...
    WASHINGTON - House Democrats returning from a briefing at the White House Tuesday said they still have many questions about explosive allegations that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan and questioned why President Donald Trump won't condemn Vladimir Putin over the issue.   Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and a small group of other House Democrats met with White House officials as Trump downplayed the allegations and the White House said he had not been briefed on them. A handful of Republicans received a similar briefing Monday evening.   The Democrats said their briefing was insufficient and they learned nothing new. Hoyer said it was White House officials giving "their perspective" when lawmakers really...
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City BY MARK HOSENBALL AND PATRICIA ZENGERLE The White House sought to downplay reports it knew Russia had paid the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops, promising to brief Democrats on Tuesday after being accused of only sharing information with President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans. Trump administration officials said there was no consensus on the underlying intelligence among U.S. agencies and Trump had not been made aware of it. But two Republican lawmakers said they remain concerned after hearing details from the White House at a meeting on Monday. “We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia...
    WASHINGTON -- House Democrats returning from a briefing at the White House Tuesday said they still have many questions about explosive allegations that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan and questioned why President Donald Trump won't condemn Vladimir Putin over the issue.Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and a small group of other House Democrats met with White House officials as Trump downplayed the allegations and the White House said he had not been briefed on them. A handful of Republicans received a similar briefing Monday evening.The Democrats said their briefing was insufficient and they learned nothing new. Hoyer said it was White House officials giving "their perspective" when lawmakers really need to hear from members...
    Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox's Gasparino: GOP operatives raising possibility Trump 'could drop out of race' if polls don't rebound Sacha Baron Cohen pranks right-wing event in Washington state Trump to tap senior HUD official to run Office of Personnel Management: report MORE took a swipe at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop intelligence officials release statements criticizing leaking of Russian bounties information Russian bounty intel was included in Trump's daily briefing: reports Senators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops MORE on Tuesday over reports that he had been provided with written briefs on intelligence that Russia offered bounties to incentivize Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump has insisted he was never briefed on...
    Although President Trump apparently took no action in response to a reported February 27 intel brief about Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan, he took several provocative swipes at favorite target CNN – and met with Diamond and Silk that day. The president's public events and statements that day were typical in many ways for his presidency – with public blasts at perceived critics and a White House event that featured praise for the president. The New York Times reported that Trump was briefed that a Russian military unit paid bounties to elements linked to the Taliban in Afghanistan for the deaths of U.S. troops.  A source even gave the specific date information was included in the President's Daily...
    (CNN)A classified White House briefing Tuesday did little to satisfy House Democrats' demands for an explanation of intelligence that Russia offered the Taliban bounties, as Democrats expressed concerns that President Donald Trump's national security team appeared unwilling to brief the President with information he didn't want to hear.House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer took a group of House Democrats to the White House for a briefing Tuesday morning, one day after House Republicans received a similar briefing following media reports that US intelligence showed Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters for killing US troops. Democrats said at a news conference after the briefing that they needed to hear directly from the intelligence agencies -- not the White House -- reiterating their...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday the United States should consider sanctions to deter Russia's "malign" behavior as Democrats pressed for more information on reports that Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. "We should be considering what sanctions are appropriate to further deter Russia's malign activities," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters after receiving a White House briefing on U.S. intelligence on the alleged bounties. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Susan Heavey; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    Igor Derysh June 30, 2020 2:54PM (UTC) Former national security adviser John Bolton told colleagues that he personally briefed President Donald Trump about intelligence that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops, U.S. officials told the Associated Press. Bolton briefed Trump on the matter in March of 2019, according to the report, a year earlier than previously reported by The New York Times. The information was also included in at least one presidential Daily Brief, according to the AP, CNN and The Times. The AP earlier reported that it was also included in a second presidential Daily Brief earlier this year and that current national security adviser Robert O'Brien discussed the matter with Trump. : "Trump is not...
    Madison Summers June 30, 2020 0 Comments The Department of Defense (DOD) is denying the reports that allege Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. soldiers. “To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan  Hoffman said in a statement late Monday. “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.” As The New York Times noted in a report on Friday, “Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed...
    Drew Angerer/Getty Images The New York Times has reported on a new instance in which President Donald Trump was allegedly briefed on Russia’s campaign to reward Taliban-linked militias with cash bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House have denied there were briefings on the program, claiming it wasn’t credible enough. But the Times is now reporting the president received a written briefing on the subject in late February. This comes as the Associated Press reports that former national security adviser John Bolton briefed Trump on the Russian intelligence assessment as far back as March of last year. The Times reported that the bounty intel was included in a compilation of foreign policy and national security...