U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday denied that he had been briefed on reported U.S. intelligence {that a} Russian army intelligence unit secretly provided bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, and he appeared to attenuate the allegations towards Moscow.

U.S. intelligence officers concluded months in the past that Russian officers provided rewards for profitable assaults on American service members final 12 months, at a time when the U.S. and Taliban have been holding talks to finish the long-running struggle, based on The New York Instances.

Trump, in a Sunday morning tweet, mentioned, “No person briefed or instructed me” or Vice-President Mike Pence or chief of workers Mark Meadows about “the so-called assaults on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians.”

“All people is denying it & there haven’t been many assaults on us,” he mentioned.

The White Home had issued an announcement on Saturday denying that Trump or Pence had been briefed on such intelligence. “This doesn’t converse to the benefit of the alleged intelligence however to the inaccuracy of The New York Instances story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany mentioned.

Trump’s director of nationwide intelligence, John Ratcliffe, additionally mentioned neither the president nor vice-president was “ever briefed on any intelligence alleged” within the Instances’ report, and he mentioned the White Home assertion was “correct.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden labelled as a ‘really surprising revelation’ a media report saying American intelligence officers concluded months in the past that there have been bounties provided to Taliban militants for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. (Biden for President/The Related Press)

Trump’s tweet got here a day after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mentioned the report, if correct, was a “really surprising revelation” in regards to the commander-in-chief and his failure to guard U.S. troops in Afghanistan and stand as much as Russia.

Russia known as the report “nonsense.”

“Propagandists of American intelligence’

“This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low mental talents of the propagandists of American intelligence, who as an alternative of inventing one thing extra believable need to make up this nonsense,” the Russian Overseas Ministry mentioned.

A Taliban spokesperson mentioned the militants “strongly reject this allegation” and aren’t “indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or international nation.”

The Instances, citing unnamed officers acquainted with the intelligence, mentioned the findings have been introduced to Trump and mentioned by his Nationwide Safety Council in late March. Officers developed potential responses, beginning with a diplomatic criticism to Russia, however the White Home has but to authorize any step, the report mentioned.

Trump responded to Biden on Twitter, saying “Russia ate his and Obama’s lunch throughout their time in workplace”

But it surely was the Obama administration, together with worldwide allies, that suspended Russia from the Group of Eight after its unilateral annexation of Crimea from Ukraine — a transfer that drew widespread condemnation.

Biden criticized Trump for “his embarrassing marketing campaign of deference and debasing himself” earlier than Russian chief Vladimir Putin. Trump tweeted that “No person’s been harder” on Russia than his administration.

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