Trump Denies Being Briefed Regarding Bounties On US Troops

Trump Denies Being Briefed Regarding Bounties On US Troops
L-R Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump (image via White House/Public Domain)

American intelligence officials reportedly concluded months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly approached Islamic insurgents linked to the Taliban offering rewards in exchange for killing U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.

From the New York Times:

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, called the inaction “shameful” during a virtual town hall event on Saturday.

“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” Said Mr. Biden.

“His entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale,” added Biden. “It’s a betrayal of the most sacred duty we bear as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way.”

Trump tweeted today that neither he, Vice President Mike Pence, or Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were ever told about bounties on American troops.

He also threw shade at Biden for reading a prepared statement, which Trump does all the time.