Did Russia pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers? It certainly sounds plausible, especially when considering Russian feelings over the US efforts to eject them from Afghanistan in the 1980s. Ever since the New York Times dropped the bombshell , people have attacked Donald Trump for not protecting troops and for making nice with Vladimir Putin. Joe Biden used it to attack Trump over the weekend.
As Allahpundit noted yesterday , however, both the current Director of National Intelligence and his acting predecessor denied that Trump had ever been briefed on that intelligence. The National Security Council never included that intel in its presidential daily briefings either, one NSC source told Catherine Herridge , although they were trying to find out for sure why not. Late last night, Trump blasted the media’s reports on the matter, calling it “another fabricated Russia hoax.” The real story is that he never got briefed because the intel analysts “did not find this info credible,” Trump tweeted: Washington Post: It doesn’t matter that the most violent cities in America are run by Democrats
So is there evidence of this, or not? NBC updates the story with a contradictory report on that issue: The U.S. has gathered intelligence that Russian intelligence officers have offered to pay bounties to Taliban fighters who kill Americans, three people briefed on the matter told NBC News.
The intelligence has been shared with congressional leaders and with the British government, the sources said. However, a senior defense official downplayed the intelligence reporting, saying there was no evidence that any bounty was actually paid. Supposedly, this intel was gleaned from interviews of Taliban detainees. As NBC notes, that wouldn’t have been enough to make the story credible. As such, it might have been an interesting thread to pull, […]