Donald Trump on Sunday denied he knew that Russia offered secret bounties to Taliban-linked militants if they killed American troops in Afghanistan, although the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and Wall Street Journal have all confirmed the story.
Tweeted Trump: “Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us……..Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine – Where’s Hunter? Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their ‘source’?
CNN adds: “Trump’s Sunday tweet went a step further than a Saturday statement from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in which she said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed ‘on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,’ but did not dispute the reported underlying intelligence.”
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The NYT reported: “The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hammered Trump on Friday night: “This is kind of sickening news. … Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, but some of the bounties that have been offered have been collected.”
Added Maddow: “Not only does the president know … there was that unexpected and friendly conversation he had with Putin. According to the Kremlin what they discussed on that call was how much Russia would like to be allowed back into the G7. President Trump then got off that call with Putin and immediately began calling for Russia to be allowed back into the G7. … That’s how Trump is standing up for Americans being killed for rubles paid by Putin’s government.”