Politics Trump Says He Never Raised Taliban Bounties in Talks With Putin
Trump talks coronavirus, arms control in phone call with Putin
President Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone on Thursday, discussing the novel coronavirus, arms control negotiations and other matters.The call marked Trump's first phone conversation with Putin since last month, and comes days after the United States, United Kingdom and Canada accused Moscow of attempting to hack coronavirus vaccine research.The phone call is also Trump's first with Putin since the explosive New York Times report about a U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia offered bounties to Taliban insurgents for launching attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump says he “never discussed” reports that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan with Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite having numerous phone calls as recently as last week.
“I have never discussed it with him,” Trump told Axios in aposted on Twitter Wednesday. Trump said he didn’t raise the matter in last Thursday’s discussion. “That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.”
Trump Admits He’s ‘Never’ Mentioned Bounties to Putin Because He Thinks It’s ‘Fake News’
President Donald Trump has admitted that he failed to mention U.S. intelligence that indicates Russia paid the Taliban to kill American troops during a call with Vladimir Putin last week. In fact, Trump says he has “never” brought up the issue with the Russian president apparently because he doesn’t believe the CIA. The New York Times reported back in June that U.S. intelligence officials concluded “months ago” that a Russian military intelligence unit paid out for each U.S. or allied soldier killed. There is some disagreement in the intelligence community—the National Security Agency reportedly disagreed with the CIA’s findings.
The interview immediately prompted a response from the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“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 -- to Donald Trump and to our allies -- that Russia was placing bounties on the heads of American servicemen and women in a war zone, our president continues to turn his back on those who put their lives on the line for our country, and on his own duty,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.
Trump says he didn't confront Putin about Russia paying for Taliban attacks on US soldiers because he considers it 'fake news'
Previous reporting by Insider confirmed that Taliban-affiliated groups have taken Russian money to attack US forces.In an interview on "Axios on HBO"on Tuesday, Trump was asked if he raised the issue with Putin. He replied: "I have never discussed it with him.
Axios reported that Trump and Putin have spoken at least eight times since the intelligence community submitted information about the alleged Russian bountiesin the president’s daily brief in February.
Trump said in the interview that evidence about the Russia bounties “never reached my desk” and the White House has maintained the intelligence was inconclusive since the New York Timeson it in June.
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Trump Keeps Taking Russia’s Side, and We Don’t Know Why .
Mueller never looked at Trump’s financial information.But Mueller never uncovered the full extent of Trump’s financial ties to Moscow. “Neither Mueller nor the Southern District prosecutors sought out Trump’s financial records or obtained his tax returns,” Jeffrey Toobin reports. The mystery of Trump’s solicitousness to Putin remains unresolved. And he continues to give reasons for suspicion.