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#1772273 - 06/28/20 01:48 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
Damanshot Offline

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Loc: Aurora, Ohio
So now he says he wasn't briefed on this.. OK lets believe him.

So, now he knows, what's he going to do about it?
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“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
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"Alternative facts hurt us all. Think before you blindly believe."
Damanshot

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#1772287 - 06/28/20 02:28 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: RocketOptimist]
oobernoober Offline

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Registered: 11/24/08
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Originally Posted By: RocketOptimist
Most of the posts from *conservatives here do.
*Republicans
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#1772289 - 06/28/20 02:32 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: oobernoober]
PitDAWG Offline

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Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 42026
Loc: Smyrna, TN.

As of now I would have to agree. Trump is no conservative.
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#1772291 - 06/28/20 02:42 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PitDAWG]
Milk Man Offline

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Posts: 8010
j/c...


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#1772305 - 06/28/20 03:44 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Damanshot]
mgh888 Offline

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Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 6382
Originally Posted By: Damanshot
So now he says he wasn't briefed on this.. OK lets believe him.

So, now he knows, what's he going to do about it?


I mean there are several possibilities ...

The news is fake? Seems unlikely as it's now confirmed by the Brits.

The news wasn't important enough to reach the POTUS ears? Doubtful.

The news was deliberately kept from Trump because the military and the intel agencies think he's unpredictable, unstable or just dangerous? Plausible.

He knew, did nothing and he is lying about not knowing. Plausible.

And now he knows his response is ???? Probably something loud and vocal with zero follow through and action.


Edited by mgh888 (06/28/20 03:45 PM)

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#1772358 - 06/28/20 08:51 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: mgh888]
Milk Man Offline

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Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010
j/c...

Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments

By
Ellen Nakashima, Karen DeYoung, Missy Ryan and John Hudson
June 28, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. EDT

Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.

Several people familiar with the matter said it was unclear exactly how many Americans or coalition troops from other countries may have been killed or targeted under the program. U.S. forces in Afghanistan suffered a total of 10 deaths from hostile gunfire or improvised bombs in 2018, and 16 in 2019. Two have been killed this year. In each of those years, several service members were also killed by what are known as “green on blue” hostile incidents by Afghan security forces sometimes believed to have been infiltrated by the Taliban.

The intelligence was passed up from the U.S. Special Operations forces based in Afghanistan and led to a restricted high-level White House meeting in late March, the people said.

The meeting led to broader discussions about possible responses to the Russian action, ranging from diplomatic expressions of disapproval and warnings, to sanctions, according to two of the people. These people and others who discussed the matter spoke on the condition of anonymity because of its sensitivity.

The disturbing intelligence — which the CIA was tasked with reviewing, and later confirmed — generated disagreement about the appropriate path forward, a senior U.S. official said. The administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, preferred confronting the Russians directly about the matter, while some National Security Council officials in charge of Russia were more dismissive of taking immediate action, the official said.

It remained unclear where those discussions have led to date. Verifying such intelligence is a process that can take weeks, typically involving the CIA and the National Security Agency, which captures foreign cellphone and radio communications. Final drafting of any policy options in response would be the responsibility of national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien.

The CIA assessment took some time, and coincided with the scaling back and slowing down of a number of government functions as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold, two people said.

Asked to comment, John Ullyot, an NSC spokesman, said that “the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.” The CIA and the Defense and State departments declined to comment.

Russia and the Taliban have denied the existence of the program.

Among the coalition of NATO forces in Afghanistan, the British were briefed late last week on the intelligence assessment, although other alliance governments were not formally informed. The New York Times first reported the existence of the bounty program on Friday evening.

But as more details have unfolded, the primary controversy in Washington over the weekend revolved around denials by President Trump and his aides that the president was ever briefed on the intelligence.

Trump on Sunday confirmed statements by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and the White House press secretary that he received no briefing on the subject, and he referred in tweets to “so-called reports” by “Fake News.”

“Nobody briefed or told me, [Vice President] Pence or Chief of Staff [Mark Meadows] about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News .&#8201;.&#8201;. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us,” Trump said on Twitter, insisting that “nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump administration.”

But his Twitter remarks did little to clarify whether the administration was denying that the assessment existed, or simply denying that Trump knew anything about it. Richard Grenell, who served as acting director of national intelligence until last month, tweeted that “I never heard this. And it’s disgusting how you continue to politicize intelligence.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday joined other lawmakers — including leading Republicans — in expressing concern and calling for the administration to provide Congress with an explanation.

“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“But he wants to ignore,” she said, “he wants to bring them back to the G-8 despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, despite what they yielded to [Putin] in Syria, despite [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] intervention into our election, which is well documented by our intelligence community and despite now possibly this allegation, which we should have been briefed on.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump ally who golfed with the president Sunday, earlier tweeted that “I expect the Trump Administration to take such allegations seriously and inform Congress immediately as to the reliability of these news reports.”

In a second tweet, Graham said it was “Imperative Congress get to the bottom” of the Russian offer “to pay the Taliban to kill American soldiers with the goal of pushing America out of the region.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-highest-ranking member of the House GOP leadership, also took to Twitter on Sunday to say that if the report of Russian bounties “is true, the White House must explain” why the president wasn’t briefed, who did know and when, and “what has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin responsible.”

A third person familiar with the issue said that “I don’t think that anybody withheld anything and screwed up by not getting to the president on time.” Until “you were absolutely sure of the intelligence and the NSC had drawn up policy options, you weren’t going to walk into the Oval Office,” the person said.

So the issue is not when the president was briefed, but rather, “now that you are aware of it, what are you going to do about it? That’s where the focus should be.”

In years past, there were persistent reports that Russia was supplying small arms to the Taliban. Carter Malkasian, who served as a senior adviser to the previous chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., said Russia had cultivated a relationship with certain Taliban elements, largely in northern Afghanistan, beginning around 2015. The outreach was partly as a response to Moscow’s concerns about the threat posed by Islamic State militants in the region, and also a desire to see U.S. troops leave the region.

But more recently, U.S. officials said that Russia — which tried and failed to start its own Afghan peace process — has been cooperative and helpful since the Taliban signed a peace deal, including a plan for U.S. withdrawal, with the administration early this year.

Malkasian, now a scholar at CNA, said the bounty operation, if true, could be a “random” initiative, rather than one that reflected a well-coordinated program ordered by the highest levels of the government.

He said that a primary Russian goal in Afghanistan continues to be the exit of American forces, but not at any cost.

“They may want us out, and they may be happy to see a few Americans die,” he said, “but I don’t think they want to see the Taliban take over.”

Ellen Nakashima is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering intelligence and national security matters for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 1995 and is based in Washington.

Karen DeYoung is associate editor and senior national security correspondent for The Post. In more than three decades at the paper, she has served as bureau chief in Latin America and in London and as correspondent covering the White House, U.S. foreign policy and the intelligence community.

Missy Ryan writes about the Pentagon, military issues and national security for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2014 from Reuters, where she reported on U.S. national security and foreign policy issues. She has reported from Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

John Hudson is a national security reporter at The Washington Post covering the State Department and diplomacy. He has reported from a mix of countries including Ukraine, Pakistan, Malaysia, China, and Georgia.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-...01dc_story.html

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#1772367 - 06/28/20 09:22 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
OldColdDawg Online   content

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Registered: 09/28/06
Posts: 20453
Loc: Lancaster, Ohio
Not surprised at all. No low too low for DJT.
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#1772368 - 06/28/20 09:27 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: OldColdDawg]
BADdog Offline

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Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3500
Loc: NYC
SOOOO he didnt know ..... Now He knows, What is going to do about it? He always says he is tougher on Russia than any President. Your move trump protect our troops from Russia.
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#1772369 - 06/28/20 09:31 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
northlima dawg Offline

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Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 1955
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/spi...4Uci?li=BBnb4R7

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


WASHINGTON — United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter.


The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said.


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Armed with this information, military and intelligence officials have been reviewing American and other coalition combat casualties since early last year to determine whether any were victims of the plot. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked American positions since a February agreement to end the long-running war in Afghanistan.

The details added to the picture of the classified intelligence assessment, which The New York Times reported Friday has been under discussion inside the Trump administration since at least March, and emerged as the White House confronted a growing chorus of criticism on Sunday over its apparent failure to authorize a response to Russia.

Mr. Trump defended himself by denying the Times report that he had been briefed on the intelligence, expanding on a similar White House rebuttal a day earlier. But leading congressional Democrats and some Republicans demanded a response to Russia that, according to officials, the administration has yet to authorize.

The president “needs to immediately expose and handle this, and stop Russia’s shadow war,” Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Twitter.

Appearing on the ABC program “This Week,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not been briefed on the intelligence assessment and had asked for an immediate report to Congress. She accused Mr. Trump of wanting “to ignore” any charges against Russia.

“Russia has never gotten over the humiliation they suffered in Afghanistan, and now they are taking it out on us, our troops,” she said of the Soviet Union’s bloody war there in the 1980s. “This is totally outrageous. You would think that the minute the president heard of it, he would want to know more instead of denying that he knew anything.”

Spokespeople for the C.I.A., the director of national intelligence and the Pentagon declined to comment on the new findings. A National Security Council spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Though the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, claimed on Saturday that Mr. Trump had not been briefed about the intelligence report, one American official had told The Times that the report was briefed to the highest levels of the White House. Another said it was included in the President’s Daily Brief, a compendium of foreign policy and national security intelligence compiled for Mr. Trump to read.

Ms. McEnany did not challenge The Times’s reporting on the existence of the intelligence assessment, a National Security Council interagency meeting about it in late March and the White House’s inaction. Multiple other news organizations also subsequently reported on the assessment.

The officials briefed on the matter said that the assessment had been treated as a closely held secret but that the administration expanded briefings about it over the last week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces were among those said to have been targeted.

Republicans in Congress demanded more information from the Trump administration about what happened and how the White House planned to respond.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, said in a Twitter post on Sunday: “If reporting about Russian bounties on U.S. forces is true, the White House must explain: 1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the info in the PDB? 2. Who did know and when? 3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”

Multiple Republicans retweeted Ms. Cheney’s post. Representative Daniel Crenshaw, Republican of Texas and a former member of the Navy SEALs, amplified her message, tweeting, “We need answers.”

In a statement in response to questions, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said he had long warned about Russia’s work to undermine American interests in the Middle East and southwest Asia and noted that he wrote an amendment last year rebuking Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

“The United States needs to prioritize defense resources, maintain a sufficient regional military presence and continue to impose serious consequences on those who threaten us and our allies — like our strikes in Syria and Afghanistan against ISIS, the Taliban and Russian mercenary forces that threatened our partners,” Mr. McConnell said.

Aides for other top Republicans either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican; Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In addition to saying he was never “briefed or told” about the intelligence report — a formulation that went beyond the White House denial of any formal briefing — Mr. Trump also cast doubt on the assessment’s credibility, which statements from his subordinates had not.

Specifically, he described the intelligence report as being about “so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians”; the report described bounties paid to Taliban militants by Russian military intelligence officers, not direct attacks. Mr. Trump also suggested that the developments could be a “hoax” and questioned whether The Times’s sources — government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity — existed.

Mr. Trump then pivoted to attack former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who criticized the president on Saturday for failing to punish Russia for offering bounties to the Taliban, as well as Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, who is the target of unsubstantiated claims that he helped a Ukrainian energy firm curry favor with the Obama administration when his father was vice president.

“Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine — Where’s Hunter?”

American officials said the Russian plot to pay bounties to Taliban fighters came into focus over the past several months after intelligence analysts and Special Operations forces put together key pieces of evidence.

One official said the seizure of a large amount of American cash at one Taliban site got “everybody’s attention” in Afghanistan. It was not clear when the money was recovered.

Two officials said the information about the bounty hunting was “well known” among the intelligence community in Afghanistan, including the C.I.A.’s chief of station and other top officials there, like the military commandos hunting the Taliban. The information was distributed in intelligence reports and highlighted in some of them.

The assessment was compiled and sent up the chain of command to senior military and intelligence officials, eventually landing at the highest levels of the White House. The Security Council meeting in March came at a delicate time, as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and prompting shutdowns around the country.

A former American official said the intelligence analyst who briefs the president and the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, working with his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, would have been involved in any decision to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s activities. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, might have also weighed in, the former official said.

Ms. McEnany cited all three of those senior officials in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

National security officials have tracked Russia’s relationship with the Taliban for years and determined that Moscow has provided financial and material support to senior and regional Taliban leaders.

While Russia has at times cooperated with the United States and appeared interested in Afghan stability, it often seems to work at crosscurrents with its own national interest if the result is damage to American national interests, said a former senior Trump White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security assessments.

Revenge is also a factor in Russia’s support for the Taliban, the official said. Russia has been keen to even the scales after 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 keeping a score sheet, and they want to punish us for that incident,” the official said.

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

Ms. Pelosi said that if the president had not, in fact, been briefed, then the country should be concerned that his administration was afraid to share with him information regarding Russia.

Ms. Pelosi said that the episode underscored Mr. Trump’s accommodating stance toward Russia and that with him, “all roads lead to Putin.”

“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” she said. “Whether he is or not, his administration knows, and some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan have been briefed and accept this report.”

John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, said on “This Week” that he was not aware of the intelligence assessment, but he questioned Mr. Trump’s response on Twitter.

“What would motivate the president to do that, because it looks bad if Russians are paying to kill Americans and we’re not doing anything about it?” Mr. Bolton said. “The presidential reaction is to say: ‘It’s not my responsibility. Nobody told me about it.’ And therefore to duck any complaints that he hasn’t acted effectively.”

Mr. Bolton said this summed up Mr. Trump’s decision-making on national security issues. “It’s just unconnected to the reality 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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#1772374 - 06/28/20 11:23 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: northlima dawg]
Milk Man Offline

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Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010
j/c...

Who will be the "select few?"


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#1772376 - 06/28/20 11:29 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
BADdog Offline

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Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3500
Loc: NYC
“Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, said in a Twitter post on Sunday: “If reporting about Russian bounties on U.S. forces is true, the White House must explain: 1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the info in the PDB? 2. Who did know and when? 3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”

Multiple Republicans retweeted Ms. Cheney’s post. Representative Daniel Crenshaw, Republican of Texas and a former member of the Navy SEALs, amplified her message, tweeting, “We need answers.”

This is big can we get trump for treason on this?
_________________________


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#1772378 - 06/29/20 12:10 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
PortlandDawg Offline

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Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 6052
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Milk Man
j/c...

Who will be the "select few?"






The headline should read...
‘trump circling wagons with his cronies to get the lies straight before anyone speaks on the topic publicly.’
_________________________

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#1772379 - 06/29/20 12:33 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PortlandDawg]
Milk Man Offline

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Posts: 8010

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#1772391 - 06/29/20 07:08 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
PerfectSpiral Offline

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Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 10804
Notice how all the GOPERS like 40 cent and fish aren’t responding just saying fake news. Waiting on their bot walking orders from trump’s spin doctors to move forward. Lol Everybody is lying except trump. Pffft.
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#1772405 - 06/29/20 08:12 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PerfectSpiral]
northlima dawg Offline

Dawg Talker

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 1955
Now after 3 and a half years are republicans finally starting to grow a backbone with trump because they don’t want to lose their own jobs in 4 months. I doubt it and it is too late

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#1772406 - 06/29/20 08:14 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Damanshot]
Swish Offline

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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 44741
Loc: The Land
Originally Posted By: Damanshot
So now he says he wasn't briefed on this.. OK lets believe him.

So, now he knows, what's he going to do about it?


well obviously the solution is to hold a summit here in the states and invite Putin over.
_________________________
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

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#1772437 - 06/29/20 10:03 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: northlima dawg]
oobernoober Offline

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Registered: 11/24/08
Posts: 5988
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: northlima dawg
Now after 3 and a half years are republicans finally starting to grow a backbone with trump because they don’t want to lose their own jobs in 4 months. I doubt it and it is too late
Possibly beginning to speak up (under anonymity) because they don't think Trump will be in the Oval Office in a few months is not "growing a backbone".
_________________________
Somebody think of something
-ThrowLong

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#1772511 - 06/29/20 01:45 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PortlandDawg]
Milk Man Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010
Originally Posted By: PortlandDawg
Originally Posted By: Milk Man
j/c...

Who will be the "select few?"






The headline should read...
‘trump circling wagons with his cronies to get the lies straight before anyone speaks on the topic publicly.’



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#1772518 - 06/29/20 01:58 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
mac Offline

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Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 10883
Loc: OHIO
The summary of your post...Trump is UNQUALIFIED to be the commander in chief over our soldiers, especially soldiers in Afghanistan.

I refuse to believe Trumps lies...too many times Trump has used the excuse...he didn't know or know one told me!

He might try getting his ass off his golf cart and start reading his intelligence briefs...soldiers lives are at stake and each soldier has a name!

Now that Trump has been briefed...what is he going to do about it?


Edited by mac (06/29/20 02:00 PM)
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#1772571 - 06/29/20 04:53 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: mac]
Milk Man Offline

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Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010
Senators aim to limit Trump's ability to remove troops from Germany
By Jordain Carney - 06/29/20 03:19 PM EDT

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to place limits on President Trump's ability to remove troops from Germany unless the administration is able to meet a slew of requirements.

The proposal, spearheaded by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), would prohibit the administration from reducing the number of active-duty troops in Germany below 34,500 unless the Pentagon can certify to Congress that it is in the national security interest of the United States and would not negatively undermine European alliances or NATO.

It would also require the Defense secretary to certify that the move would not impact the U.S. military's ability to "execute contingency plans," wouldn't negatively impact ongoing operations, won't impact military families and that the Pentagon has consulted with allies including NATO and Germany.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) are co-sponsoring the proposal.

The senators want to get it included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a mammoth defense policy bill set to be debated by the Senate this week. Hundreds of amendments are filed to the NDAA every year but only a handful normally end up getting a roll-call vote on the floor.

In addition to Romney's amendment, Graham filed a separate proposal throwing the Senate's support behind the U.S.-Germany relationship.

"The presence of United States military forces in Germany is a strong deterrent against Russian aggression in Europe and strengthens the capability of NATO," Graham's resolution reads.

Trump confirmed earlier this month that he would cut the number of U.S. service members in Germany to 25,000, a decision that has been met with bipartisan scrutiny.

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/50507...ps-from-germany

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#1772579 - 06/29/20 06:09 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
mac Offline

Legend

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 10883
Loc: OHIO
Who would benefit if Trump reduced the troop strength in Germany?


Russia welcomes prospect of US troop pullback from Germany

June 11, 2020
link


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed President Donald Trump’s reported plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany, saying it would help bolster security in Europe.

Trump has reportedly signed off on a plan to cut the number of troops stationed in Germany from 34,500 to no more than 25,000.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “we would welcome any steps by Washington to scale down its military presence in Europe.”

“Such steps would undoubtedly help reduce confrontational potential and ease military and political tensions in the Euro-Atlantic region,” Zakharova said at a briefing, adding that the large U.S. military presence in Germany is a “vestige of the Cold War.”

Zakharova challenged the U.S. to also take its tactical nuclear weapons home from Germany.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters earlier this week that Berlin hadn’t yet been informed of any U.S. troops pullout. She warned that if the U.S. goes ahead the move would do more harm to NATO as a whole than to Germany’s own defense.

Relations between Russia and the West are at post-Cold War lows following the 2014 Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other issues.

Moscow has described the deployment of NATO forces near Russian borders as a top security threat.

Zakharova strongly warned Washington against redeploying some of the troops from Germany to Poland, saying it would further exacerbate tensions and undermine prospects of dialogue between Russia and NATO.
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#1772592 - 06/29/20 07:29 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: mac]
bbrowns32 Offline

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Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 6407
Loc: Motown area
Originally Posted By: mac
Who would benefit if Trump reduced the troop strength in Germany?


Poland, for one...
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When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers...Socrates

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#1772610 - 06/29/20 08:19 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: bbrowns32]
Jester Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 6574
Loc: Charlotte
Interesting answer. Can you explain how/why?
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#1772617 - 06/29/20 09:06 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Jester]
bbrowns32 Offline

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Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 6407
Loc: Motown area
Originally Posted By: Jester
Interesting answer. Can you explain how/why?


A couple off the top:

- elevate Poland's status/importance

- financial impact
_________________________
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers...Socrates

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#1772623 - 06/29/20 10:21 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: bbrowns32]
Milk Man Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010
j/c...

Charlie Savage
@charlie_savage
BREAKING: Undercutting WH claims that Trump was never briefed on suspected Russian bounty operation & info was not solid enough to tell him about, it was in his written briefing (PDB) 4 months ago - likely Feb 27 - & was circulated broadly in IC on May 4.


Trump Got Written Briefing in February on Possible Russian Bounties, Officials Say

The investigation into Russia’s suspected operation is said to focus in part on the killings of three Marines in a truck bombing last year, officials said.
By Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, Nicholas Fandos and Adam Goldman
June 29, 2020
Updated 10:10 p.m. ET

American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.

The investigation into the suspected Russian covert operation to incentivize such killings has focused in part on an April 2019 car bombing that killed three Marines as one such potential attack, according to multiple officials familiar with the matter.

The new information emerged as the White House tried on Monday to play down the intelligence assessment that Russia sought to encourage and reward killings — including reiterating a claim that Mr. Trump was never briefed about the matter and portraying the conclusion as disputed and dubious.

But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation of the government’s latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Mr. Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.

Moreover, a description of the intelligence assessment that the Russian unit had carried out the bounties plot was also seen as serious and solid enough to disseminate more broadly across the intelligence community in a May 4 article in the C.I.A.’s World Intelligence Review, a classified compendium commonly referred to as The Wire, two officials said.

A National Security Council spokesman declined to comment on any connection between the Marines’ deaths and the suspected Russian plot. The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, did not answer when pressed by reporters on Monday whether the intelligence was included in the written President’s Daily Brief, and the security council spokesman pointed to her comments when asked later about the February written briefing.

Late on Monday, John Ratcliffe, the recently confirmed director of national intelligence, issued a statement warning that leaks about the matter were a crime.

“We are still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting, and we will brief the president and congressional leaders at the appropriate time,” he said. “This is the analytic process working the way it should. Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to these allegations.”

The disclosures late on Monday came amid a growing furor in Washington over the revelations in recent days that the Trump administration has known for months about the intelligence conclusion but the White House had authorized no response to Russia.

Top Democrats in the House and Senate demanded all members of Congress be briefed, and the White House summoned a small group of House Republicans friendly to the president to begin explaining its position.

The lawmakers emerged saying that they were told the administration was reviewing reporting about the suspected Russian plot to assess its credibility, and that the underlying intelligence was conflicting, echoing comments from the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, that the information in the assessment had not been “verified” because, she said without detail, there were “dissenting opinions” among analysts or agencies.

“There was not a consensus among the intelligence community,” Ms. McEnany said. “And, in fact, there were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community, and it would not be elevated to the president until it was verified.”

But in denying that Mr. Trump was briefed, administration officials have been coy about how it is defining that concept and whether it includes both oral briefings and the President’s Daily Brief. “He was not personally briefed on the matter,” Ms. McEnany told reporters when asked specifically about the written briefing. “That is all I can share with you today.”

Mr. Trump is said to often neglect reading that document, preferring instead to receive an oral briefing summarizing highlights every few days. Even in those face-to-face meetings, he is particularly difficult to brief on national security matters, and at times asks questions the intelligence. He often relies instead on conservative media and friends for information, current and former intelligence officials have said.

American intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan officials in Afghanistan began raising alarms as early as January, and the National Security Council convened an interagency meeting to discuss the problem and what to do about it in late March, The Times has previously reported. But despite being presented with options, including a diplomatic protest and sanctions, the White House authorized no response.

The administration’s explanations on Monday, in public and in private, appeared to be an attempt to placate lawmakers, particularly Mr. Trump’s fellow Republicans, alarmed by news reports in recent days revealing the existence of the intelligence assessment and Mr. Trump’s insistence he had not been warned of the suspected Russian plot.

The assessments pointing to a Russian scheme to offer bounties to Taliban-linked militants and criminals were based on information collected in raids and interrogations on the ground in Afghanistan, where military American commanders came to believe Russia was behind the plot, as well as more sensitive and unspecified intelligence that came in over time, an American official said.

Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot and the evidence linking the attack on the Marines to the suspected Russian plot, but they did not detail those disputes.

Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical about interrogations and other human intelligence, officials said.

Typically, the president is formally briefed when the information has been vetted and seen as sufficiently credible and important by the intelligence professionals. Such information would likely be included in the President’s Daily Brief.

Former officials said that in previous administrations, allegations of such profound importance — even if the evidence was not fully established — were conveyed to the president. “We had two threshold questions: ‘Does the president need to know this' and ‘why does he need to know it now,’” said Robert Cardillo, a former senior intelligence official who briefed former President Barack Obama from 2010 to 2014.

David Priess, a former C.I.A. daily intelligence briefer and the author of “The President’s Book of Secrets. The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents,” said: “Many intelligence judgments in history have not had the consensus of every analyst who worked on it. That’s the nature of intelligence. It’s inherently dealing with uncertainty.”

Both Mr. Cardillo and Mr. Priess said previous presidents received assessments on issues of potentially vital importance even if they had dissents from some analysts or agencies. The dissents, they said, were highlighted for the president to help them understand uncertainties and the analytic process.

Lawmakers demanded to see the underlying material for themselves.

“This is a time to focus on the two things Congress should be asking and looking at: No. 1 Who knew what, when, and did the commander in chief know? And if not, how the hell not?” said Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, each requested that all lawmakers be briefed on the matter and for C.I.A. and other intelligence officials to explain how Mr. Trump was informed of intelligence collected about the plot.

The White House began explaining its position directly to lawmakers in a carefully controlled setting. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff; John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence; and Robert C. O’Brien, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, briefed a handful of invited House Republicans. A group of House Democrats was scheduled to go to the White House on Tuesday morning to receive a similar briefing.

There was no indication after the session with Republicans whether they had been told that the information was included in Mr. Trump’s written briefing four months ago. But afterward, two of the Republicans, Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Mac Thornberry of Texas, said that they “remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces” and would need additional briefings.

“It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan,” they said in a joint statement. “We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces.”

Other Republicans who attended the briefing were more sanguine. In an interview, Representative Chris Stewart of Utah said that he saw nothing unusual about the purported decision not to orally inform Mr. Trump, particularly when the situation did not require the president to take immediate action.

“It just didn’t reach the level of credibility to bring it to the president’s attention,” he said, adding that military and intelligence agencies should continue to scrutinize Russia’s activities.

The Associated Press first reported that the intelligence community was examining the deaths of the three Marine reservists: Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, of Newark, Del.; Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y.; and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa.

They were killed when a vehicle laden with explosives hit their truck, wounding an Afghan contractor as well. The huge blast set fire to the truck, engulfing those inside in flames, while their fellow Marines tried to extricate them, a defense official said. A brief firefight ensued.

Gen. Zaman Mamozai, the former police chief of Parwan Province, where Bagram Airfield is, said that the Taliban there hire freelancers from local criminal networks, often blurring the lines of who carried out what attacks. He said the Taliban’s commanders are only based in two districts of the province, Seyagird and Shinwari, and from there they coordinate a more extensive network that largely commissions the services of criminals.

The Taliban has denied involvement. And a spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, told NBC News on Monday that reports of the Russian scheme were incorrect. He said that “none of the American representatives have ever raised this question with their Russian counterparts through government or diplomatic channels.”

The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, declined to comment on any connection between the Marines’ deaths and the suspected Russian plot. Mr. Hoffman also declined to say whether or when Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper was briefed on the intelligence assessment and whether the deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan resulted from the Russian bounties. Col. DeDe Halfhill, a spokeswoman for Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also declined to comment on the same questions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/us/politics/trump-russia-plot-afghanistan.html

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#1772629 - 06/29/20 11:24 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
BADdog Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3500
Loc: NYC
“This is the analytic process working the way it should. Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to these allegations.”

Such bs. Because it was leaked and found out about. We can’t possibly figure out what actual happened. My head is spinning
_________________________


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#1772630 - 06/30/20 12:22 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: BADdog]
PortlandDawg Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 6052
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: BADdog
“This is the analytic process working the way it should. Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to these allegations.”

Such bs. Because it was leaked and found out about. We can’t possibly figure out what actual happened. My head is spinning


Maybe he should be briefed through the short form twitter platform. Something his mind can absorb. Or a ‘fake Faux News’ (well that’s redundant) talking head program. All the cuts, and scrolls, dingy soulless blondes, and other bells and whistles that draw his eyes like a stupid moth to a deadly flame. Tailor the message to the low IQ of the recipient. Maybe then he’d remember these REALLY IMPORTANT things.

Worst. president. Ever.
_________________________

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#1772633 - 06/30/20 01:20 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
Clemdawg Offline

Legend

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 12131
Loc: 2 bubbles off of plumb
Quote:
But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document.


Ahhh... there's the rub.

Dude is well-documented by both (non-partisan) career functionaries and (partisan) WH staff (speaking on condition of anonymity) to not bother with the Daily Briefings.

It also follows his pattern of not listening to Professional People who actually know wtf they're talking about.

1. He didn't listen to His Generals. His Generals are all gone.
2. He didn't listen to his Medical Experts. His Medical Experts were shoved to the side.
3. He fiddled, while the CoronaVirus burned... through 120,000 American lives. Now, his CoronaVirus experts are barely heard from, as numbers spike in every corner of the country. Even in 'Trump Country.'
4. He didn't listen to The Intelligence Industry when they told him that Russia was a past and ongoing threat.
5. He didn't listen to the outgoing admin, when they told him about Micheal Flynn.
6. He didn't listen when the outgoing admin briefed his crew that runaway viral infection was a National Security issue, while informing them about the mission of the Pandemic Response Team. His gang smirked their way through the briefings, tossed the reports into the trash can... and then, Assterisk45* dismantled the very team that was best equipped handle the current crisis.... -a full year before Our Country needeed to get atop this pandemic.

It took me all of 3 minutes to bang out this stream-of-consciousness litany of failures and ineptitude without even trying. I'll stop at 5, because I could probably type for another 45 minutes nonstop about his failings, which are legion. They all reek of the same consistent aroma, because they all come from the same point of origin:

He instinctively mistrusts/hates serious people of acumen and expertise...
-and that trait has a direct influence on the decisions that get made for our entire country.

I saw this coming when he started chewing his way through the primary roster. I envisioned a tenure of exactly the kind of stuff that made his campaign as it was. Our Reality was laid bare before us during the 2015-16 primary. That was America's vetting opportunity, right there.

America knew this D00D wasn't a deep thinker.
And they had ample evidence that he wasn't deep in character, either. Traits that were always deemed essential in a POTOS... until now.

Steaks, vodka, real estate scams, bankrupt casinos ( saywhat ), unaccredited "universities," stiffed contractors, you name it- we've seen it all...

...a lowlife managed to scam his way into 1600 PennAve.

_____________

Newspaper revelations such as this should no longer surprise anyone, no matter what one's politics might be. This person has a 40-year public history of shallowness, myopia, venality and moral bankruptcy... traits about which he was proud enough to put into a self-congratulatory book that he lacked the discipline and acumen to actually write himself.

His character has been on public display for almost a half-century.
America knew what he was.

None of this should surprise anyone... even his most ardent supporters.

We got what we elected.

I shake my damned head slowly.



_________________________
#gmstrong

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#1772634 - 06/30/20 01:30 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
Bull_Dawg Offline
Hall of Famer

Registered: 01/14/15
Posts: 5320
Loc: Stark Co., Ohio
...It was Joe Biden's son offering the bounties....
_________________________

You mess with the "Bull," you get the horns.
Fiercely Independent.

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#1772643 - 06/30/20 06:42 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Bull_Dawg]
mac Offline

Legend

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 10883
Loc: OHIO


AP sources: White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019

By JAMES LaPORTA
4 minutes ago
link

Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.

The White House didn’t respond to questions about Trump or other officials’ awareness of Russia’s provocations in 2019. The White House has said Trump wasn’t — and still hasn’t been — briefed on the intelligence assessments because they haven’t been fully verified. However, it’s rare for intelligence to be confirmed without a shadow of a doubt before it is presented to top officials.

Bolton declined to comment Monday when asked by the AP if he’d briefed Trump about the matter in 2019. On Sunday, he suggested to NBC that Trump was claiming ignorance of Russia’s provocations to justify his administration’s lack of response.

“He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it,” Bolton said.

The revelations cast new doubt on the White House’s efforts to distance Trump from the Russian intelligence assessments. The AP reported Sunday that concerns about Russian bounties also were in a second written presidential daily briefing this year and that current national security adviser Robert O’Brien had discussed the matter with Trump. O’Brien denies doing that.

On Monday, O’Brien said that while the intelligence assessments regarding Russian bounties “have not been verified,” the administration has “been preparing should the situation warrant action.”

The administration’s earlier awareness of the Russian efforts raises additional questions about why Trump didn’t take punitive action against Moscow for efforts that put the lives of American service members at risk. Trump has sought throughout his time in office to improve relations with Russia and President Vladimir Putin, moving this year to try to reinstate Russia as part of a group of world leaders it had been kicked out of.

Officials said they didn’t consider the intelligence assessments in 2019 to be particularly urgent, given Russian meddling in Afghanistan isn’t a new occurrence. The officials with knowledge of Bolton’s apparent briefing for Trump said it contained no “actionable intelligence,” meaning the intelligence community didn’t have enough information to form a strategic plan or response. However, the classified assessment of Russian bounties was the sole purpose of the meeting.

The officials insisted on anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the highly sensitive information.

The intelligence that surfaced in early 2019 indicated Russian operatives had become more aggressive in their desire to contract with the Taliban and members of the Haqqani Network, a militant group aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan and designated a foreign terrorist organization in 2012 during the Obama administration.

The National Security Council and the undersecretary of defense for intelligence held meetings regarding the intelligence. The Pentagon declined to comment, and the NSC didn’t respond to questions about the meetings.

Concerns about Russian bounties flared anew this year after members of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known to the public as SEAL Team Six, raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000 in U.S. currency. The funds bolstered the suspicions of the American intelligence community that Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and linked associations.

The White House contends the president was unaware of this development, too.

The officials told the AP that career government officials developed potential options for the White House to respond to the Russian aggression in Afghanistan, which was first reported by The New York Times. However, the Trump administration has yet to authorize any action.

The intelligence in 2019 and 2020 surrounding Russian bounties was derived in part from debriefings of captured Taliban militants. Officials with knowledge of the matter told the AP that Taliban operatives from opposite ends of the country and from separate tribes offered similar accounts.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Russian intelligence officers had offered payments to the Taliban in exchange for targeting U.S. and coalition forces.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Taliban’s chief negotiator, a spokesman for the insurgents said Tuesday, but it was unknown whether there was any mention during their conversation of allegations about Russian bounties. Pompeo pressed the insurgents to reduce violence in Afghanistan and discussed ways of advancing a U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed in February, the Taliban spokesman tweeted.

The U.S. is investigating whether Americans died because of the Russian bounties. Officials are focused on an April 2019 attack on an American convoy. Three U.S. Marines were killed after a car rigged with explosives detonated near their armored vehicles as they returned to Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military installation in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department identified them as Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, of Newark, Delaware; Sgt. Benjamin Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania; and Cpl. Robert Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York. They were infantrymen assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines, a reserve infantry unit headquartered out of Garden City, New York.

Hendriks’ father told the AP that even a rumor of Russian bounties should have been immediately addressed.

“If this was kind of swept under the carpet as to not make it a bigger issue with Russia, and one ounce of blood was spilled when they knew this, I lost all respect for this administration and everything,” Erik Hendriks said.

Three other service members and an Afghan contractor were wounded in the attack. As of April 2019, the attack was under a separate investigation, unrelated to the Russian bounties.

The officials who spoke to the AP also said they were looking closely at insider attacks from 2019 to determine if they were linked to Russian bounties.

___

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Deb Riechmann in Washington, Deepti Hajela in New York and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.
_________________________


Home of the Free, Because of the Brave...

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#1772647 - 06/30/20 07:19 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Bull_Dawg]
PerfectSpiral Offline

Legend

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 10804
Originally Posted By: Bull_Dawg
It was Joe Biden's son offering the bounties..


Fixed for ya.
_________________________
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson


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#1772694 - 06/30/20 11:01 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PerfectSpiral]
Milk Man Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010
j/c...


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#1772708 - 06/30/20 11:47 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Milk Man]
Clemdawg Offline

Legend

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 12131
Loc: 2 bubbles off of plumb
Hey!
Where all my TrumpHumpers© at?

Who will be the first to step up and defend this ish?



Worst.
President.
Ever.
_________________________
#gmstrong

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#1772709 - 06/30/20 11:49 AM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
Bull_Dawg Offline
Hall of Famer

Registered: 01/14/15
Posts: 5320
Loc: Stark Co., Ohio
I'm not sure how well some people understand geopolitics. Do we want Trump to start World War III?

How reliable is the intelligence? Are the U.S. and Russia using back channels together to try to figure out what the heck is going on? Something does appear to be going on, but it seems more narrative than hard facts at this point. Is Chinese (insert other country that would benefit from U.S.-Russian tension) (counter)intelligence involved?

Having it play out in the media could very well have been orchestrated by a 3rd party.

Trump may still be handling it like an idiot (and probably is), but jumping into a fight with a nuclear power on the basis of scant intelligence is probably something to avoid, especially until all the facts are known. Sanctioning a country for something they end up not having done could definitely be the first step towards open conflict.
_________________________

You mess with the "Bull," you get the horns.
Fiercely Independent.

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#1772715 - 06/30/20 12:12 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
mgh888 Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 6382
j/c - I forgot the old "It doesn't matter - what was Trump supposed to do" ... sort of like the "who knew it would be so tough"

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#1772734 - 06/30/20 01:27 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: mgh888]
PitDAWG Offline

Legend

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 42026
Loc: Smyrna, TN.
Yeah, some make it sound as if further sanctions and public outrage wasn't an alternative.

It was WW3 or nothing.
_________________________
Sashi Brown was so bad at his job in Cleveland, no other NFL team would even offer him a job. He has been relegated to being in charge of "the culture" of an NBA team. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

#gmstrong

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#1772758 - 06/30/20 02:09 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PitDAWG]
Milk Man Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 8010


Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties

Analysts have used other evidence to conclude that the transfers were likely part of an effort to offer payments to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

By Charlie Savage, Mujib Mashal, Rukmini Callimachi, Eric Schmitt and Adam Goldman
June 30, 2020, 1:20 p.m. ET

American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, which was among the evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence.

Though the United States has accused Russia of providing general support to the Taliban before, analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program that detainees described during interrogations. Investigators also identified by name numerous Afghans in a network linked to the suspected Russian operation, the officials said — including, two of them added, a man believed to have served as an intermediary for distributing some of the funds and who is now thought to be in Russia.

The intercepts bolstered the findings gleaned from the interrogations, helping reduce an earlier disagreement among intelligence analysts and agencies over the reliability of the detainees. The disclosures further undercut White House officials’ claim that the intelligence was too uncertain to brief President Trump. In fact, the information was provided to him in his daily written brief in late February, two officials have said.

Afghan officials this week described a sequence of events that dovetails with the account of the intelligence. They said that several businessmen who transfer money through the informal “hawala” system were arrested in Afghanistan over the past six months and are suspected of being part of a ring of middlemen who operated between the Russian intelligence agency, known as the G.R.U., and Taliban-linked militants. The businessmen were arrested in what the officials described as sweeping raids in the north of Afghanistan, as well as in Kabul.

A half-million dollars was seized from the home of one of the men, added a provincial official. The New York Times had previously reported that the recovery of an unusually large amount of cash in a raid was an early piece in the puzzle that investigators put together.

The three American officials who described and confirmed details about the basis for the intelligence assessment spoke on condition of anonymity amid swelling turmoil over the Trump administration’s failure to authorize any response to Russia’s suspected proxy targeting of American troops and downplaying of the issue after it came to light four days ago.

White House and National Security Council officials declined to comment, as did the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe. They pointed to statements late Monday from Mr. Ratcliffe; the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien; and the Pentagon’s top spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman. All of them said that recent news reports about Afghanistan remained unsubstantiated.

On Monday, the administration invited several House Republicans to the White House to discuss the intelligence. The briefing was mostly carried out by three Trump administration officials: Mr. Ratcliffe, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and Mr. O’Brien. Until recently, both Mr. Meadows and Mr. Ratcliffe were Republican congressmen known for being outspoken supporters of Mr. Trump.

That briefing focused on intelligence information that supported the conclusion that Russia was running a covert bounty operation and other information that did not support it, according to two people familiar with the meeting. For example, the briefing focused in part on the interrogated detainees’ accounts and the earlier analysts’ disagreement over it.

Both people said the intent of the briefing seemed to be to make the point that the intelligence on the suspected Russian bounty plot was not clear cut. For example, one of the people said, the White House also cited some interrogations by Afghan intelligence officials of other detainees, downplaying their credibility by describing them as low-level.

The administration officials did not mention anything in the House Republican briefing about intercepted data tracking financial transfers, both of the people familiar with it said.

Democrats and Senate Republicans were also separately briefed at the White House on Tuesday morning. Democrats emerged saying that the issue was clearly not, as Mr. Trump has suggested, a “hoax.” They demanded to hear directly from intelligence officials, rather than from Mr. Trump’s political appointees, but conceded they had not secured a commitment for such a briefing.

Based on the intelligence they saw, the lawmakers said they were deeply troubled by Mr. Trump’s insistence he did not know about the plot and his subsequent obfuscation when it became public.

“I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that the president hasn’t come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russia is putting bounties on American troops and that he will do everything in his power to make sure that we protect American troops,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

He added: “I do not understand for a moment why the president is not saying this to the American people right now and is relying on ‘I don’t know,’ ‘I haven’t heard,’ ‘I haven’t been briefed.’ That is just not excusable.”

Mr. Ratcliffe was scheduled to go to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet privately with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, an official familiar with the planning said.

The Times reported last week that intelligence officials believed that a unit of the G.R.U. had offered and paid bounties for killing American troops and other coalition forces and that the White House had not authorized a response after the National Security Council convened an interagency meeting about the problem in late March.

Investigators are said to be focused on at least two deadly attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan. One is an April 2019 bombing outside Bagram Air Base that killed three Marines: Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, of Newark, Del.; Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y.; and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa.

On Monday, Felicia Arculeo, the mother of Corporal Hendriks, told CNBC that she was upset to learn from news reports of the suspicions that her son’s death arose from a Russian bounty operation. She said she wanted an investigation, adding that “the parties who are responsible should be held accountable, if that’s even possible.”

Officials did not say which other attack is under scrutiny.

In claiming that the information was not provided to him, Mr. Trump has also dismissed the intelligence assessment as “so-called” and claimed he was told that it was “not credible.” The White House subsequently issued statements in the names of several subordinates denying that he had been briefed.

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, reiterated that claim on Monday and said that the information had not been elevated to Mr. Trump because there was a dissenting view about it within the intelligence community.

But she and other administration officials demurred when pressed to say whether their denials encompassed the president’s daily written briefing, a compendium of the most significant intelligence and analysis that the intelligence community writes for presidents to read. Mr. Trump is known to often neglect reading his written briefings.

Intelligence about the suspected Russian plot was included in Mr. Trump’s written President’s Daily Brief in late February, according to two officials, contrasting Mr. Trump’s claim on Sunday that he was never “briefed or told” about the matter.

The information was also considered solid enough to be distributed to the broader intelligence community in a May 4 article in the C.I.A.’s World Intelligence Review, commonly called The Wire, according to several officials.

A spokesman for the Taliban has also denied that it accepted Russian-paid bounties to carry out attacks on Americans and other coalition soldiers, saying the group needed no such encouragement for its operations. But one American official said the focus has been on criminals closely associated with the Taliban.

In a raid in Kunduz City in the north about six months ago, 13 people were arrested in a joint operation by American forces and the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, according to Safiullah Amiry, the deputy provincial council chief there. Two of the main targets of the raid had already fled — one to Tajikistan and one to Russia, Mr. Amiry said — but it was in the Kabul home of one of them where security forces found a half-million dollars. He said the Afghan intelligence agency had told him the raids were related to Russian money being dispersed to militants.

Two former Afghan officials said Monday that members of local criminal networks have carried out attacks for the Taliban in the past — not because they share the Taliban’s ideology or goals, but in exchange for money.

In Parwan Province, where Bagram Airfield is, the Taliban are known to have hired local criminals as freelancers, said Gen. Zaman Mamozai, the former police chief of the province. He said the Taliban’s commanders are based in two districts of the province, Seyagird and Shinwari, and that from there they coordinate a network that commissions criminals to carry out attacks.

And Haseeba Efat, a former member of Parwan’s provincial council, also said the Taliban have hired freelancers in Bagram district — including one of his own distant relatives in one case.

“They agree with these criminals that they won’t have monthly salary, but they will get paid for the work they do when the Taliban need them,” Mr. Efat said.

Twenty American service members were killed in combat-related operations in Afghanistan last year, the most since 2014.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/russian-bounties-afghanistan-intelligence.html

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#1772775 - 06/30/20 02:41 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: Swish]
ErikInHell Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 5726
Loc: The Great Dismal Swamp
This is crap. Why would the Russians pay these people for something they've been happily doing for free for years?
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#1772776 - 06/30/20 02:43 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: ErikInHell]
PitDAWG Offline

Legend

Registered: 09/10/06
Posts: 42026
Loc: Smyrna, TN.
To help undermine our efforts to create peace in Afghanistan?

It's not that complicated.
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Sashi Brown was so bad at his job in Cleveland, no other NFL team would even offer him a job. He has been relegated to being in charge of "the culture" of an NBA team. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

#gmstrong

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#1772782 - 06/30/20 02:50 PM Re: Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say [Re: PitDAWG]
ErikInHell Offline

Hall of Famer

Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 5726
Loc: The Great Dismal Swamp
Originally Posted By: PitDAWG
To help undermine our efforts to create peace in Afghanistan?

It's not that complicated.


Once again, why? The Russians have no love for afghans. They basically lost the Soviet Union due to their involvement there. Besides, they don't need to be paid.
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