India bounty on US soldiers in Afghanistan - what did Trump know?

18:25  30 june  2020
18:25  30 june  2020 Source:   bunte.de

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Amidst explosive revelations about alleged Russian bounty on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, a dispute has arisen over how much U.S. President Donald Trump knew.

Das Archivbild aus dem Jahr 2017 zeigt ein Manöver in der afghanischen Provinz Helmand. © Photo: Massoud Hossaini / AP / dpa The archive picture from 2017 shows a maneuver in the Afghan province of Helmand.

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien denied media reports that Trump had been informed of the danger. Because these allegations were not "verified or substantiated by intelligence agencies," President Trump had not been informed of the issues, "he said. Nevertheless, the staff of the National Security Council, among other things, “prepared for it if the situation justified measures”.

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Several US newspapers cited intelligence reports that Russian agents have promised the Taliban militant Islamists money to attack US positions. The rewards were promised for killing foreign soldiers, including British. The media also reported, citing anonymous sources, that Trump had been informed of the danger. The "New York Times" added late Monday evening: Trump had received a written briefing in late February. How much the President knew is relevant because the U.S. government's actions against Moscow are not known.

A few weeks ago, Trump even expressed the idea of ​​inviting Russia to the upcoming G7 summit in the United States. Critics have been accusing the US President of taking a far too reserved and even courteous line towards Russia for years. O'Brien affirmed that Trump's priority was on the security of American troops. He threatened government officials who ransacked the press with information that their behavior was endangering national security.

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Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced that so far there have been no "confirming indications" for the findings that have become known. The reports continued to be evaluated. The US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, spoke on Monday with Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe and CIA chief Gina Haspel, calling for further clarification of the "disturbing" reports. The deputies should be informed directly of the knowledge.

According to further reports, the Russian bounty could actually have led to the death of US soldiers in Afghanistan: Among other things, an automobile bomb attack in April 2019, in which three marines were killed, is being investigated. According to the Washington Post, the CIA had investigated and "confirmed" information about the Russian bounty. A reaction of the US government and measures against Russia are not known, although internal discussions about how to proceed.

Democratic congressmen should be briefed on the findings by the White House later Tuesday, after Republicans were taught on Monday. "If the intelligence review confirms the reports, we strongly recommend that the government take swift and serious measures to hold the Putin regime accountable," said MPs Michael McCaul and Adam Kinzinger.

The Kremlin described the media reports as a "lie". The "largest, revered and high-class mass media in the world have not stopped broadcasting absolute" ducks "for years," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskow of the agency Interfax.

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