President Trump Denies Being Briefed On Russian ‘Bounty’ On U.S. Troops

Donald Trump signs an executive order related to reforming the hiring process for federal jobs
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U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he had not been briefed about a supposed bounty program in which Russian intelligence purportedly offered Taliban fighters a bounty on American troops, The Associated Press reported.

This week, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, a report emerged that suggested that a Russian intelligence unit had secretly offered bounties to Taliban fighters, offering them money for killing coalition forces, including Americans, fighting in Afghanistan. Further, the report stated that at least some Islamist militants collected those bounties; 20 Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, although it’s unclear if any bounties were paid on those American troops.

The report went on to say that the Trump White House was briefed on the bounty program, and indeed, even developed a response plan that included several options, ranging from sending a diplomatic mission to Moscow to talk things over, to sanctions against Russia. Trump did not enact any of those steps, according to the report.

On Saturday, as Bloomberg reported at the time, the White House denied the reports. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that, though the Oval Office doesn’t generally comment on ongoing matters related to national security, the administration could confirm that the CIA director, national security adviser, and the White House chief of staff could all confirm that neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence was briefed on the purported Russian bounty program.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in the East Room of the White House on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day President Trump canceled his scheduled weekend trip to his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey which the state now has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from states with coronavirus spikes. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Russia has also denied ever carrying out such a program. As BBC News reported, in a series of tweets, the Russian Embassy in the U.S. blamed the reports on “fake news.”

On Sunday, Trump again denied having been briefed about the supposed bounty program.

“Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News @nytimes Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us…..” he tweeted at the time.

In a follow-up tweet, he claimed that nobody had been “tougher on Russia” than his administration.

Trump then went on to invoke Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama.

“With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine – Where’s Hunter?” he wrote.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, had issued a statement calling the allegations a “truly shocking revelation.”