New York Moments: US intelligence claims Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops

New York Times: US intelligence says Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops

Citing officials briefed on the make a difference, the Occasions reported that President Donald Trump was briefed on the intelligence conclusions and that the White House’s Nationwide Safety Council held a conference about it in late March.

White Home push secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed in a assertion Saturday that the President and Vice President Mike Pence were being not briefed “on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”

McEnany stated her assertion “does not communicate to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Situations tale,” which said Trump had been briefed.

McEnany did not deny the validity of the documented US intelligence that a Russian intelligence device available bounties to Taliban-linked militants to have out attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.

CNN has reached out to the NSC, the Protection Department, the Condition Office, and the CIA, and has acquired no remark.

According to the Periods, the Trump administration held expanded briefings about the intelligence evaluation this 7 days and shared details about it with the British federal government, whose forces have been also thought to have been qualified.

The newspaper reported that officials believed of doable responses, such as beginning with a diplomatic complaint to Moscow, a demand from customers to cease, and sanctions — but the White House has nevertheless to authorize any motion.

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, on Friday denounced the Periods report as “baseless allegations” that have led to loss of life threats in opposition to Russian diplomats in Washington and London.

“In the absence of good reasons to #BlameRussians,” the Moments is inventing “new bogus tales,” the embassy wrote on Twitter.

The Taliban also rejected the Instances report that they had been made available bounties from Russia to target US troops in Afghanistan.

“We strongly reject this allegation. The nineteen-year Jihad of the Islamic Emirate is not indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign nation and neither is the Islamic Emirate in require of anybody in specifying goals,” the militant group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid explained in a statement Saturday.

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In its covert operation, the Russian spy unit in just the intelligence agency GRU had made available benefits for thriving attacks past calendar year, and Islamist militants, or armed criminal associates, are imagined to have collected bounty cash, the Periods noted.

The US concluded that the GRU was driving the interference in the 2016 US election and cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and leading Democratic officials. The Russian army agency was also accused by the West of assassination tries and poison assaults in Europe within just new a long time.

The Moments reported that the motivations at the rear of the procedure are unclear and there is uncertainty of how much up in the Kremlin the procedure was licensed.

The US intelligence assessment was claimed to be based in section from interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals, in accordance to the newspaper.

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday termed Trump’s presidency a “present” to Putin, referring to the New York Instances report at a city corridor focused on Asian American Pacific Islander challenges. “It really is a betrayal of every single American household with a loved one particular serving in Afghanistan or any where abroad. I’m pretty frankly outraged by the report, and if I’m elected president, make no error about it, Vladimir Putin will be confronted.”

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the leading Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, on Saturday identified as for Senate Greater part Leader Mitch McConnell to put legislation sanctioning Russia for a vote on the chamber flooring.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the position Republican on Residence International Affairs, mentioned in a statement Saturday that he “straight away achieved out to the Administration,” adding that if the accusations in the New York Situations report are correct, the administration “will have to acquire swift and major motion to hold the Putin routine accountable.”

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Power veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, tweeted that “Russia is not a companion, and not to be negotiated with” and that Trump “wants to quickly expose and deal with this, and halt Russia’s shadow war.”
Trump has sought to strengthen relations amongst Washington and Moscow and shares an unusually warm romance with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

But Trump and his administration stage to US sanctions on Russia, arguing that he is been harder on the region than previous presidents.

In the course of a 2018 press conference along with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Trump, in a spectacular move for an American president, refused to acknowledge US intelligence that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, in its place showing up to align with Putin’s denials.
Very last thirty day period, Trump claimed he wished to invite Russia to the G7 summit, despite Russia’s suspension in 2014 from the doing the job group of primary industrial nations for its annexation of Crimea.
In February, the US and Taliban signed a historic settlement in Dohar, Qatar, setting in movement the achievable total withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and opportunity close to America’s longest-fought war.

US troops are at the moment serving in Afghanistan as component of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and suggest Afghan forces and concentration on counterterrorism functions targeting the community ISIS affiliate and al Qaeda.

The Trump administration is close to finalizing a selection to withdraw far more than 4,000 troops from Afghanistan by the slide, in accordance to two administration officials. The shift would decrease the variety of troops from 8,600 to 4,500 and would be the most affordable selection considering that the very earliest times of the war in Afghanistan.

This story has been updated with more reaction and a statement from the White House press secretary.

CNN’s Radina Gigova, Karen Smith, Sarah Mucha, Nicky Robertson and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.

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Cory Weinberg

About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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