Alex Brandon / AP
Updated 03:15 ET Monday
In a Sunday evening tweet, President Trump said that the intelligence community told him that he had not been informed of Russia’s allegations of offering the Taliban’s reward payments for killing Western forces – including US troops – because he did not consider the reports credible.
Intel has just told me that it did not consider this information credible and therefore did not report it to me either @VP. Maybe another hoax made in Russia, maybe from Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad !!! https://t.co/cowOmP7T1S
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2020
“Intel has just told me that it did not consider this information credible and therefore did not report it to me @VP. Maybe another hoax made in Russia, maybe from Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad !!! “tweeted the president.
The tweet reaffirmed a previous denial by the president of a New York Times report that intelligence officials had informed him of the allegations of bad Russian activity in Afghanistan.
The Washington Post he reported on Sunday evening that the gifts “are believed to have resulted in the death of several members of the American service,” a conclusion based on interviews with captured militants.
Last Sunday, third-class Republican representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) Invited the White House to tell Congress who in the administration knew about intelligence and when.
Quoting unnamed officials, the Times The report, released on Friday, details how U.S. intelligence officials came to the conclusion about secret payments and then informed the president in March. That same month, the White House National Security Council convened a collaborative meeting to discuss the matter, according to the report. The result was also included in the President’s Daily Brief, according to the Times.
… Nobody has been tougher with Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe Biden and Obama, Russia had a field day, conquering important parts of Ukraine – Where’s Hunter? Probably just another fake Times hit, just like their Russia hoax failed. Who is their “source”?
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2020
Trump denied the report in a series of tweets on Sunday, saying he was never informed of the intelligence assessment.
“Nobody informed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by the Russians, as reported through an” anonymous source “by Fake News @nytimes. All they deny it. and there haven’t been many attacks on us ….. “Trump said.
The president followed the denial saying “No one has been harder on Russia than the Trump Administration.” He continued to criticize former President Barack Obama, the Timespresumed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“With Corrupt Joe Biden and Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine – Where’s Hunter? Probably just another fake Times job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their source?” “?” Trump tweeted.
The White House denied Saturday that the president had been briefed on the matter, but how Times he notes, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not reject the substance of the intelligence assessment.
A statement by John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, also denied that the president was informed of the matter, but also did not refute that Russia had offered gifts in exchange for attacks on US forces.
The Times, in his report, he does not specify how many troops may have been killed by insurgents in search of monetary reward, but says officials were confident that Russian agents would offer and pay bounties to militants for killing Americans. In a separate CNN report, an unnamed European intelligence official said that Russia also offered gifts for killing soldiers from the UK.
According to TimesU.S. officials concluded that the bounty operation was orchestrated by the GRU – Russian military intelligence – which was also linked to assassination attempts and other cloak and dagger operations, including the 2018 nervous agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England.
The GRU is the same unit that US intelligence implicated in efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The investigation into Russian interference in the elections, conducted by former Special Adviser Robert Mueller, indicted 12 Russian citizens whom he identified as GRU members on active duty.
The Russian embassy in Washington has denied the Times report on a tweet on Saturday, calling the report “fake news“A Taliban spokesman told the newspaper that the report was” unfounded “.
Trump’s critics called for reports of further evidence that the president failed to adequately curb Russia’s influence and instead sought to foster an intimate relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking in a virtual town hall on Saturday, Biden, a former vice president of the United States, said that if the story was correct, it would have been a betrayal for US forces not to be able to protect them in a war zone.
“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this serious violation of international law, but Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and is crumbling in front of Vladimir Putin,” said Biden.
In an other tweet SundayTrump responded by calling his likely 2020 adversary and his comments on the corrupt Times story “obviously written by its managers”.