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Politics Wesley Clark says Trump not serving in Vietnam 'might have been for the best' in light of Russian bounty reports

22:40  01 july  2020
22:40  01 july  2020 Source:   thehill.com

White House Says Trump and Pence Not Briefed on Bounties on U.S. Troops

  White House Says Trump and Pence Not Briefed on Bounties on U.S. Troops After a New York Times article alleged that Donald Trump had been informed about bounties placed on U.S. and U.K. troops by Russian military operatives, the White House said Trump did not know.The New York Times published a story Friday evening reporting that Russian intelligence operatives offered bounties to militants in Afghanistan for killing coalition forces in the country. The bounties were offered during peace talks to end America's longest-running war, according to the report.

Former U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said that President Trump dodging the draft during the Vietnam War "might have been for the best" in light of reports that he was aware of intelligence that Russia paid secret bounties to militants to kill US troops and failed to act.

Wesley Clark wearing a suit and tie: Wesley Clark says Trump not serving in Vietnam 'might have been for the best' in light of Russian bounty reports © Getty Images Wesley Clark says Trump not serving in Vietnam 'might have been for the best' in light of Russian bounty reports

"President Trump receives well-deserved criticism for failing to serve his country in Vietnam," Clark, a highly-decorated general who served as the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO under President Clinton, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.

Biden says he may request classified briefing on alleged Russian bounties

  Biden says he may request classified briefing on alleged Russian bounties The Trump administration has not offered Biden’s campaign the opportunity for such a briefing, the former vice president said.The Trump administration has not offered Biden’s campaign the opportunity for such a briefing, the former vice president said, a tradition for major party nominees once they’ve locked up the nomination.

"Yet, given the lack of loyalty to the troops he has displayed in recent months, that might have been for the best," Clark added. "Were he in A Company back then, he wouldn't have charged across that bridge - he would have hung back and let the rest of us fend for ourselves. I and the others might never have made it home."

Last week the New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence found that the Russian military intelligence unit GRU had been secretly paying bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Trump maintained relations with Russia while he was reportedly aware of this.

The Times and other outlets reported that Trump was briefed on the intelligence, which the White House has denied. On Wednesday, Trump called reports on the intelligence a "hoax," though other administration officials have not publicly doubted the accuracy of the intelligence.

Trump dismisses Russian bounty allegations as a 'hoax'

  Trump dismisses Russian bounty allegations as a 'hoax' President Trump claimed early Wednesday that reports about suspected Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan were a "hoax" meant to damage him politically."The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party," Trump tweeted. "The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself. If the discredited @nytimes has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!"The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party. The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself.

Clark noted that in the president's tweets, "the welfare of the nation and of our troops did not come up."

"Unfortunately, the president's first reaction was not, 'How can I protect the troops?'" Clark wrote. "It was, 'How can I protect myself?'"

Clark has been critical of the administration's handling of military matters, including the way federal law enforcement and military personnel cleared protesters to make way for Trump to walk to St. John's church across from the White House last month.

A West Point graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Clark also ran for president during the 2004 election, but dropped out early that year while endorsing eventual Democratic nominee John Kerry.

Pompeo called before House panel over Russian bounty claims .
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has invited Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to appear before a hearing on how the Trump administration responded to reports that U.S. intelligence was aware of Russia offering bounties to Taliban-backed fighters to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan. The hearing is set to take place on Thursday. It is titled "Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops: Why Hasn't the Administration Responded?"Pompeo is listed as "The hearing is set to take place on Thursday. It is titled "Russian Bounties on U.S.

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