WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Wednesday brushed aside as “Fake News” allegations that Russia presented bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan. He stated news tales concerning the allegations had been made as much as “damage me and the Republican Party.”
Lawmakers had been hard solutions over the allegations, and Democrats have accused Trump of bowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the possibility of US squaddies’ lives.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he had now not been briefed on intelligence tests that Russia presented bounties as a result of there wasn’t corroborating proof. Those intelligence tests had been first reported by means of The New York Times, then showed to The Associated Press by means of American intelligence officers and others with wisdom of the topic.
“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.”

The President’s nationwide safety adviser, Robert O’Brien, stated the intelligence wasn’t delivered to the President’s consideration first of all as it used to be unverified and there used to be no consensus some of the intelligence group.
O’Brien insisted that the CIA and Pentagon did pursue the lead and briefed world allies. But he echoed the new White House speaking level faulting now not Russia however executive leakers and the media for making the topic public.
He informed “Fox & Friends” that he had ready an inventory of retaliatory choices for Trump if the intelligence used to be corroborated.
“We had options ready to go,” stated O’Brien. “It may be impossible to get to the bottom of it.”
Trump has been below force from lawmakers on Capitol Hill to handle the reviews.
Majority chief Steny Hoyer and a small crew of different House Democrats met with White House officers as Trump downplayed the allegations. The Democrats wondered why Trump should not have been briefed faster and driven White House officers to have the President make a robust commentary concerning the topic.
House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff, one of the crucial Democrats who attended the briefing, stated it used to be “inexplicable” why Trump would possibly not say publicly that he’s operating to unravel the issue and why he would possibly not name out Putin. He stated Trump’s defence that he hadn’t been briefed used to be inexcusable.
“Many of us do not understand his affinity for that autocratic ruler who means our nation ill,” Schiff stated.
Rep Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., a freshman and previous Navy helicopter pilot and Russia coverage officer, stated White House leader of personnel Mark Meadows briefed the gang. She stated the Democrats informed the White House briefers that the President will have to make a commentary.
“These are very concerning allegations and if they’re true, Russia is going to face repercussions,” Sherrill stated. “We really pushed that strongly in the meeting.”
She would not say how the White House officers reacted or say if the briefers informed the Democrats that in reality Trump have been briefed.
Senate Republicans in large part defended the President, arguing in conjunction with the White House that the intelligence used to be unverified.
But that is a top bar – it is uncommon for intelligence to be showed with out a shadow of doubt ahead of it’s offered to senior executive decision-makers.
Some House Republicans who had been briefed by means of the White House on Monday additionally stated they left with questions.
Texas Rep Mac Thornberry, the highest Republican at the armed products and services committee, stated the panel would “leave no stone unturned” in searching for additional data. Rep Liz Cheney of Wyoming insisted there could be “ramifications” for any focused on of Americans.
The White House used to be operating to agenda a briefing for Wednesday with Senate majority chief McConnell, space speaker Nancy Pelosi and the highest Republicans and Democrats at the two intelligence committees in keeping with an individual conversant in the talks. The individual declined to be recognized for the reason that so-called Gang of eight briefing will probably be categorised. That crew receives essentially the most delicate data in common conferences with management officers.
A separate crew of Senate Republicans briefed within the White House Situation Room on Tuesday seemed most commonly happy with the solutions they won. Senate armed products and services chairman Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma stated he used to be “convinced” Trump hadn’t recognized concerning the intelligence. Wisconsin Sen Ron Johnson, chairman of the fatherland safety and governmental affairs committee, stated Trump “can’t be made aware of every piece of unverified intelligence.”
While Russian meddling in Afghanistan is not new, officers stated Russian operatives turned into extra competitive of their need to contract with the Taliban and contributors of the Haqqani Network, a militant crew aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and designated a overseas 15 May Organization in 2012.
The intelligence group has been investigating an April 2019 assault on an American convoy that killed 3 US Marines after a automobile rigged with explosives detonated close to their armored cars as they traveled again to Bagram Airfield, the biggest US army set up in Afghanistan, officers informed AP.
Three different US provider contributors had been wounded within the assault, in conjunction with an Afghan contractor. The Taliban claimed duty for the assault. The officers the AP spoke to additionally stated they had been taking a look carefully at insider assaults – often referred to as “green-on-blue” assaults – from 2019 to resolve if they’re additionally related to Russian bounties.
One reputable stated the management mentioned a number of possible responses, however the White House has but to authorize any.
Intelligence officers informed the AP that the White House first turned into conscious about alleged Russian bounties in early 2019 – a 12 months previous than have been in the past reported. The tests had been integrated in considered one of Trump’s written day-to-day briefings on the time, and then-national safety adviser John Bolton informed colleagues he had briefed Trump at the topic. Bolton declined to touch upon that topic, and the White House didn’t reply to questions.
The intelligence officers and others with wisdom of the topic insisted on anonymity to speak about the extremely delicate topic.

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