July 13, 2020

The Queens County Citizen

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Trump denies understanding of ‘Russian bounties on US troops’ as criticism mounts

Trump denies knowledge of 'Russian bounties on US troops' as criticism mounts
Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

Donald Trump claimed on Sunday that no one particular experienced advised him about a Russian plot to present bounties to Taliban militants in trade for fatal attacks on coalition troops in Afghanistan, although US protection officials have been weighing a response to the plot given that at least March.

Leading administration officials, together with users of Trump’s nationwide protection council, have been talking about the Russian bounty give for months, the New York Situations 1st reported.

But in a tweet Sunday morning, Trump claimed never to have read about the Russian offer you – and he questioned whether this sort of an offer experienced been produced.

“Nobody briefed or explained to me, [vice president Mike] Pence, or main of workers Mark Meadows about the so-known as attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians,” Trump tweeted in element. “Everybody is denying it & there have not been a lot of assaults on us…”

Meadows took above as main of personnel at the end of March, following the countrywide security council, which features prime advisers to the president with offices within the White Property, convened an interagency assembly to go over taking motion on the intelligence stories, in accordance to the Times.

Joe Biden, Trump’s presidential rival, accused Trump in a virtual town hall on Saturday of betraying US troops by failing to act on the intelligence studies.

“Not only has he unsuccessful to sanction or impose any kind of implications on Russia for this egregious violation of worldwide regulation, Donald Trump has continued his uncomfortable marketing campaign of deference and debasing himself just before Vladimir Putin,” Biden said.

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“His complete presidency has been a present to Putin, but this is past the pale. It is a betrayal of the most sacred obligation we bear as a country, to secure and equip our troops when we send out them into harm’s way.”

A Russian armed forces intelligence unit secretly offered cash to Taliban-linked militants for profitable assaults on coalition forces in the drop of 2019, as the US and Taliban engaged in talks to end a a long time-prolonged war, in accordance to extensively described US intelligence assessments.

Some bounty income was thought to have been collected. 20 Us residents ended up killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019.

But the White House push secretary, the director of national intelligence (DNI), and now the president himself all denied at the weekend that news of a mystery Russian paid out assassinations plot towards US troops at any time built it to Trump’s internal circle.

“I have confirmed that neither the president nor the vice president were being at any time briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Situations in its reporting yesterday,” intelligence director John Ratcliffe stated in a statement Saturday. “The White Dwelling assertion addressing this concern before right now, which denied this sort of a briefing occurred, was correct.”

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Property speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, claimed on ABC’s This Week plan on Sunday that it was “totally outrageous” that Trump did not act on the intelligence reports to protect American life.

“This is as undesirable as it gets, and but the president will not confront the Russians on this rating,” Pelosi mentioned.

White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a assertion Saturday denying that Trump experienced been briefed but declaring “this does not communicate to the benefit of the alleged intelligence”.

The White Dwelling has not defined why the president would not be briefed on a plot to get rid of US troopers deployed overseas.

“Either the DNI is lying (which is a large trouble) or the DNI withheld earthshaking facts from President Trump for the reason that he is so childish and irrelevant that they’d instead he not know (which is…well…also a massive issue),” tweeted Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat.

The former acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, who served the Trump administration, advised on Sunday that the reviews about the intelligence evaluation were being improper.

“No just one would be great with this if it had been real,” Grenell tweeted.

Both of those the Russian foreign ministry and the Taliban issued statements denying the plot.

“This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the minimal mental skills of the propagandists of American intelligence, who rather of inventing anything a lot more plausible have to make up this nonsense,” the Russian Overseas Ministry reported.

A Taliban spokesman stated the militants “strongly reject this allegation and are not indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or international country”.

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Trump has publicly undermined US intelligence assessments about Russia in the past. In a July 2018 appearance in Helsinki, Finland, together with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump endorsed Putin’s denial of US conclusions that Russia had tampered in the 2016 presidential election.

“They reported they believe it’s Russia I have President Putin, he just stated it is not Russia,” Trump advised reporters. “I will say this: I never see any cause why it would be. I have great self-assurance in my intelligence folks, but I will inform you that President Putin was incredibly solid and potent in his denial right now.”

A report by particular counsel Robert Mueller delivered in March 2019 documented comprehensive contacts between Russian intelligence and Trump marketing campaign officers but “did not establish that the Trump Marketing campaign coordinated with the Russian federal government in its election interference activities”.

The report documented 10 instances of likely obstruction of justice by Trump personally in investigations immediately or indirectly involving his campaign’s Russia ties.