Home Latest News Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops...

Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops – The New York Times


a February arrangement to stop the lengthy-functioning war in Afghanistan.

The information added to the image of the categorized intelligence evaluation, which The New York Instances described Friday has been beneath dialogue within the Trump administration because at minimum March, and emerged as the White Residence confronted a escalating chorus of criticism on Sunday more than its obvious failure to authorize a reaction to Russia.

the Periods report that he experienced been briefed on the intelligence, growing on a similar White Property rebuttal a day earlier. But foremost congressional Democrats and some Republicans demanded a reaction to Russia that, according to officers, the administration has but to authorize.

The president “needs to instantly expose and take care of this, and prevent Russia’s shadow war,” Agent Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and a member of the Dwelling Overseas Affairs Committee, wrote on Twitter.

Showing up on the ABC plan “This 7 days,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she experienced not been briefed on the intelligence evaluation and experienced asked for an immediate report to Congress. She accused Mr. Trump of wanting “to ignore” any fees from Russia.

“Russia has by no means gotten over the humiliation they suffered in Afghanistan, and now they are using it out on us, our troops,” she reported of the Soviet Union’s bloody war there in the 1980s. “This is absolutely outrageous. You would consider that the minute the president listened to of it, he would want to know additional instead of denying that he knew anything at all.”

Spokespeople for the C.I.A., the director of national intelligence and the Pentagon declined to comment on the new results. A National Stability Council spokesman, John L. Ullyot, explained in a assertion on Sunday night time, “The veracity of the underlying allegations proceeds to be evaluated.”

stated Sunday night time on Twitter that “Intel just described to me that they did not come across this data credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP.” One particular senior administration formal supplied a comparable rationalization, declaring that Mr. Trump was not briefed simply because the intelligence organizations had occur to no consensus on the results.

But a different formal said there was broad settlement that the intelligence evaluation was precise, with some complexities mainly because different aspects of the intelligence — together with interrogations and surveillance information — resulted in some differences among the businesses in how considerably confidence to place in each and every type.

Although the White Residence press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, claimed on Saturday that Mr. Trump experienced not been briefed about the intelligence report, one particular American official had instructed The Periods that the report was briefed to the optimum amounts of the White Home. A different explained it was involved in the President’s Day-to-day Temporary, a compendium of overseas policy and national security intelligence compiled for Mr. Trump to go through.

Ms. McEnany did not challenge The Times’s reporting on the existence of the intelligence evaluation, a Nationwide Security Council interagency assembly about it in late March and the White House’s inaction. Many other information businesses also subsequently documented on the assessment, and The Washington Post to start with reported on Sunday that the bounties were being believed to have resulted in the loss of life of at minimum just one American support member.

The officials briefed on the make any difference said that the evaluation experienced been dealt with as a carefully held magic formula but that the administration expanded briefings about it more than the final 7 days — such as sharing information and facts about it with the British governing administration, whose forces have been among the all those explained to have been targeted.

Republicans in Congress demanded far more information and facts from the Trump administration about what happened and how the White Dwelling prepared to reply.

Agent Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the 3rd-ranking Home Republican, stated in a Twitter publish on Sunday: “If reporting about Russian bounties on U.S. forces is real, the White Residence must demonstrate: 1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the information in the PDB? two. Who did know and when? 3. What has been performed in reaction to protect our forces & maintain Putin accountable?”

tweeting, “We want solutions.”

In a assertion in reaction to questions, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the greater part chief, reported he experienced very long warned about Russia’s operate to undermine American passions in the Center East and southwest Asia and famous that he wrote an modification very last 12 months rebuking Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

“The United States requirements to prioritize defense means, manage a ample regional army presence and proceed to impose really serious consequences on those people who threaten us and our allies — like our strikes in Syria and Afghanistan from ISIS, the Taliban and Russian mercenary forces that threatened our partners,” Mr. McConnell mentioned.

Aides for other best Republicans either declined to comment or did not react to requests for comment on Sunday, which includes Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top rated Home Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the performing chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In addition to expressing he was by no means “briefed or told” about the intelligence report — a formulation that went outside of the White Home denial of any formal briefing — Mr. Trump also forged question on the assessment’s trustworthiness, which statements from his subordinates experienced not.

Especially, he described the intelligence report as remaining about “so-termed assaults on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians” the report described bounties paid to Taliban militants by Russian military intelligence officers, not immediate assaults. Mr. Trump also prompt that the developments could be a “hoax” and questioned no matter if The Times’s sources — federal government officers who spoke on the issue of anonymity — existed.

Mr. Trump then pivoted to assault previous Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who criticized the president on Saturday for failing to punish Russia for presenting bounties to the Taliban, as very well as Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, who is the concentrate on of unsubstantiated claims that he served a Ukrainian vitality organization curry favor with the Obama administration when his father was vice president.

Mr. Trump tweeted. “With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field working day, having in excess of crucial parts of Ukraine — Where’s Hunter?”

American officers mentioned the Russian plot to pay bounties to Taliban fighters came into concentrate in excess of the past a number of months immediately after intelligence analysts and Special Operations forces set jointly critical pieces of proof.

A single official reported the seizure of a substantial amount of American cash at one Taliban web-site bought “everybody’s attention” in Afghanistan. It was not apparent when the income was recovered.

Two officers explained the information and facts about the bounty looking was “well known” between the intelligence local community in Afghanistan, together with the C.I.A.’s chief of station and other best officials there, like the military services commandos looking the Taliban. The information and facts was distributed in intelligence reports and highlighted in some of them.

The evaluation was compiled and sent up the chain of command to senior military and intelligence officials, finally landing at the optimum concentrations of the White Residence. The Safety Council conference in March arrived at a fragile time, as the coronavirus pandemic was turning into a disaster and prompting shutdowns about the nation.

A previous American formal said the countrywide security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the president’s chief of staff members, Mark Meadows, would have been concerned in any conclusion to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s routines, as would have the intelligence analyst who briefs the president.. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, may have also weighed in, the previous formal reported.

Ms. McEnany cited these 3 senior officers in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

a bloody confrontation in 2018 in Syria, when a massive U.S. counterattack killed hundreds of Syrian forces along with Russian mercenaries nominally supported by the Kremlin.

“They are preserving a score sheet, and they want to punish us for that incident,” the formal claimed.

Each Russia and the Taliban have denied the American intelligence assessment.

Ms. Pelosi explained that if the president had not, in fact, been briefed, then the nation really should be anxious that his administration was worried to share with him facts relating to Russia.

Ms. Pelosi explained that the episode underscored Mr. Trump’s accommodating stance towards Russia and that with him, “all streets guide to Putin.”

“This is as negative as it will get, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this rating, denies remaining briefed,” she explained. “Whether he is or not, his administration is aware of, and some of our allies who perform with us in Afghanistan have been briefed and accept this report.”

John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s previous nationwide security adviser, stated on “This Week” that he was not knowledgeable of the intelligence evaluation, but he questioned Mr. Trump’s reaction on Twitter.

“What would motivate the president to do that, simply because it seems poor if Russians are shelling out to destroy People and we’re not carrying out anything about it?” Mr. Bolton said. “The presidential reaction is to say: ‘It’s not my responsibility. No one told me about it.’ And therefore to duck any complaints that he has not acted proficiently.”

Mr. Bolton claimed this summed up Mr. Trump’s decision-making on countrywide stability problems. “It’s just unconnected to the fact he’s dealing with.”

Reporting was contributed by Julian E. Barnes, Charlie Savage, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Michael Schwirtz and Michael D. Shear.

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