Russia offered bounties to Afghanistan militants for killing US soldiers
Outrage has greeted a bombshell New York Times story that says American intelligence officials believe a Russian military intelligence unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing foreign soldiers in Afghanistan, including targeting Americans.
The story, citing its sources as unnamed officials briefed on the matter, said that the US had come to the conclusion about the operation several months ago and and offered rewards for successful attacks last year.
The Times wrote: “The intelligence finding was briefed to Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March.” However, despite drawing up numerous options by way of a response, the White House has not taken any action.
As the news broke it triggered a fierce response from top Democrats, especially those who have long pointed to what they say is Trump’s overly close relationship to Russia’s autocratic leader, Vladimir Putin.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, said: “Trump was cozying up to Putin and inviting him to the G7 all while his administration reportedly knew Russia was trying to kill US troops in Afghanistan and derail peace talks with the Taliban.”
Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia and a professor of political science at Stanford University, said: “I hope the American people will be as outraged as I am over Trump’s complacency. After he knew about these Putin-ordered contracts to kill US soldiers, Trump invited Putin to the G7.”
John Weaver, a Republican political consultant who helped found the anti-Trump Lincoln Project group, also expressed outrage.
Trump knew Russia was paying bounties on the lives of American servicemen in Afghanistan. He took no action against Putin. Instead, @realDonaldTrump REWARDED Putin by trying to insert Russia back into the G-7. And, not enough, withdrawing 25,000 American troops from Germany.
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