Bolton briefed Trump on Russian bounties in early 2019!

njbr

[AP] 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 did not respond to questions about Trump or other officials’ awareness of Russia’s provocations in 2019. The White House has said Trump was not — and still has not been — briefed on the intelligence assessments because they have not been fully verified. However, it is 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 had briefed Trump about the matter in 2019. On Sunday, he suggested to NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump was claiming ignorance of Russia’s provocations to justify his administration’s lack of a 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 were also included in a second written presidential daily briefing earlier this year and that current national security adviser Robert O’Brien had discussed the matter with Trump. O’Brien denies he did so....

...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 the Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and other linked associations.

The White House contends the president was unaware of this development as well.

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.

The officials would not name the specific groups or give specific locations in Afghanistan or time frames for when they were detained.

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

The U.S. is investigating whether any Americans died as a result of the Russian bounties. Officials are focused in particular 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....

Comments (3)
No. 1-3
Sechel
Sechel

white house is playing games with the term "briefed". its in the pdb but if trump doesn't read it and it wasn't included in his once a week 20 minute summary he pretends he wasn't briefed. only president who doesn't read the pdb that i'm aware of. most presidents not only read it but get a daily briefing and ask questions

njbr
njbr

Yes, because in order to be truly "briefed" he has to have his head held so he is looking straight into the eyes of the briefer, the briefer has to speak loudly while using "Special English" and must ask at the end if he understands what was said.

I know that is required for four year old kids.

(Special English was a feature of VOA newscasts when I was abroad for a couple years---it is a controlled version of the English language ...world news and other programs are read one-third slower than regular VOA English and reporters avoid idioms and use a core vocabulary of about 1500 words, plus any terms needed to explain a story. The intended audience is intermediate to advanced learners of English.)

Sechel
Sechel

Don't be fooled by newly manufactured spin about "vetting." Unless processes have changed dramatically under this president, substantiated disagreements would have been included with the initial assessment


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