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Russia tried to murder US soldiers and Trump Ignored It

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Ansarre
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Founded: Jun 23, 2020
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Postby Ansarre » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:16 am

Risottia wrote:
Ansarre wrote:Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/russia-offered-bounty-to-kill-uk-soldiers

The Russian intelligence unit behind the attempted murder in Salisbury of the former double agent Sergei Skripal secretly offered to pay Taliban-linked fighters to kill British and American soldiers in Afghanistan, according to US reports.


According to US reports, Saddam Hussein was about to build nuclear weapons in 2002.

Disingenuous comment. It was actually an IISS report, an independent British think-tank, and they never said Saddam Hussein was about to build nuclear weapons, they said that with foreign assistance he would be able to in a few months. The same report also concluded that because he lacked foreign assistance, it would take years at minimum.
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Risottia
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Postby Risottia » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:48 am

Novus America wrote:
Risottia wrote:No. It merely cannot be trusted, neither as wrong nor as right. The US have a long history of creating fake "incidents" to justify wars. Tonkin gulf anyone?


The US is not looking to start a war with Russia, obviously.

Merely to foster instability.
Not unlike many other times.
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Postby Risottia » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:50 am

Ansarre wrote:
Risottia wrote:
According to US reports, Saddam Hussein was about to build nuclear weapons in 2002.

Disingenuous comment. It was actually an IISS report, an independent British think-tank, and they never said Saddam Hussein was about to build nuclear weapons, they said that with foreign assistance he would be able to in a few months. The same report also concluded that because he lacked foreign assistance, it would take years at minimum.

BS.
The CIA commissioned the yellowcake forgery to SISMI agents. And the claim was that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake uranium. The US took this utter bullshit to the UN.
Last edited by Risottia on Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Novus America
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Postby Novus America » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:57 am

Risottia wrote:
Novus America wrote:
The US is not looking to start a war with Russia, obviously.

Merely to foster instability.
Not unlike many other times.


Except that the US has been taking a rather conciliatory tone towards Russia up until Ukraine, and still keeps trying to make nice.

This is not a “we hate Russians cause reasons”, it is that the Russian leadership hates US because they are KGB types that blame us for the fall of the Soviet Union.

The issue is more on their side.
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Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

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Risottia
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Postby Risottia » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:24 am

Novus America wrote:Except that the US has been taking a rather conciliatory tone towards Russia up until Ukraine, and still keeps trying to make nice.
This is not a “we hate Russians cause reasons”,

Meh meh. Want to talk the Russian intervention in Syria against the US-Arabia-Turkey coalition? Want to talk Russia-and-Egypt-backed Haftar in Libya vs NATO-backed Tripoli government?

it is that the Russian leadership hates US because they are KGB types that blame us for the fall of the Soviet Union.
The issue is more on their side.

More like "Russia is pissed at America for continuing to expand its sphere of influence after granting they weren't going to".

Seriously, I'm not taking for granted any shit coming from either Russia or America on such matters. They're both known for spamming propaganda and lies rather systematically.
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Thermodolia
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Postby Thermodolia » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:30 am

Aclion wrote:
Do you believe Russia did this?
If so, what should the response be?

This is the sort of thing I assume Russia does all the time.
Intervene in Ukraine, if Russia objects pretend to be surpised, as there are no Russian soldiers in the Ukraine we couldn't possibly be shooting them.

Yup. We should have intervened in Ukraine when they invaded. If Russia complained we would have just said “well you said that there are no russian troops there”.

That would put Russia into a bind. Either they do nothing and watch as Ukraine falls into NATO/EU orbit or they admit that they invaded Ukraine and start a whole lot of shit
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Vassenor
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Postby Vassenor » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:32 am

Risottia wrote:
Ansarre wrote:Disingenuous comment. It was actually an IISS report, an independent British think-tank, and they never said Saddam Hussein was about to build nuclear weapons, they said that with foreign assistance he would be able to in a few months. The same report also concluded that because he lacked foreign assistance, it would take years at minimum.

BS.
The CIA commissioned the yellowcake forgery to SISMI agents. And the claim was that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake uranium. The US took this utter bullshit to the UN.


So what is your evidence that this is also forged?
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Thermodolia
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Postby Thermodolia » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:32 am

Ansarre wrote:
The Greater Ohio Valley wrote:We don’t need to waste thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars waging war against Iran.

It wouldn't be a waste.

Yes it would as Iran isn’t a russian ally. It’s more of a partnerish. The Russians and Iranians are currently at odds
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Novus America
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Postby Novus America » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:53 am

Risottia wrote:
Novus America wrote:Except that the US has been taking a rather conciliatory tone towards Russia up until Ukraine, and still keeps trying to make nice.
This is not a “we hate Russians cause reasons”,

Meh meh. Want to talk the Russian intervention in Syria against the US-Arabia-Turkey coalition? Want to talk Russia-and-Egypt-backed Haftar in Libya vs NATO-backed Tripoli government?

it is that the Russian leadership hates US because they are KGB types that blame us for the fall of the Soviet Union.
The issue is more on their side.

More like "Russia is pissed at America for continuing to expand its sphere of influence after granting they weren't going to".

Seriously, I'm not taking for granted any shit coming from either Russia or America on such matters. They're both known for spamming propaganda and lies rather systematically.


First of all sure we have some disagreements (although NATO is not really backing the Tripoli government as France is backing Haftar, the US little involved and is supporting the Tobruk government as well). Anyways even allies can disagree on foreign policy decisions, the whole “the US must agree with 100% of Russian demands or is mean to Russia” is ridiculous.

And no, WE as a country did not make such a promise. James Baker did not have the ability to make forever binding policy on behalf of the US and NATO.
1) Secret treaties are inherently void under international law. And not permitted under US law.
2) Treaties must be written, signed and public to be valid.
3) To be binding on future administrations a treaty with the US must be signed by the President AND ratified by the US Senate.
4) NATO works by consensus, to be binding on NATO a treaty must be agreed to by all members.

Tell me what treaty, signed and ratified by the US, and all NATO members, says the US or NATO cannot “expand our sphere of influence”. BTW why does only Russia get an inviolate sphere of influence? But can be involved in Latin America?
This is hypocritical and the concept of “sphere of influence” is not based in international law anyways because it violates the sovereignty of other countries.

So no that is a completely silly argument. The US Secretary of State is not forever dictator of all NATO, at best there was an gentleman’s agreement between Gorbachev and Bush I which ceased to have any significance after both left office.

On what legal theory is a US president bound by an extralegal (probably illegal) verbal promise made by a predecessor? That is not how international law or US law works at all.
Russia knows that, you know that, so drop that BS.

That is just a weak excuse, not the reason, and you know it.
But sure I agree we need further investigation to prove it is true, but if it is true it is absolutely and escalation of Russian conflict against NATO, and NATO should respond.
Last edited by Novus America on Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. Pragmatism is my ideology.

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Novus America
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Postby Novus America » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:00 am

Thermodolia wrote:
Ansarre wrote:It wouldn't be a waste.

Yes it would as Iran isn’t a russian ally. It’s more of a partnerish. The Russians and Iranians are currently at odds


Yeah, going Iraq against Iran just to own Russia would be foolish and counterproductive. While are bogged down with Iran Russia would have much more freedom to maneuver. Russia would gladly throw the Iranians under the bus to distract the US.
___|_|___ _|__*__|_

Zombie Ike/Teddy Roosevelt 2020.

Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. Pragmatism is my ideology.

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Postby Gravlen » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:57 am

Risottia wrote:
Novus America wrote:Except that the US has been taking a rather conciliatory tone towards Russia up until Ukraine, and still keeps trying to make nice.
This is not a “we hate Russians cause reasons”,

Meh meh. Want to talk the Russian intervention in Syria against the US-Arabia-Turkey coalition? Want to talk Russia-and-Egypt-backed Haftar in Libya vs NATO-backed Tripoli government?

it is that the Russian leadership hates US because they are KGB types that blame us for the fall of the Soviet Union.
The issue is more on their side.

More like "Russia is pissed at America for continuing to expand its sphere of influence after granting they weren't going to".

Seriously, I'm not taking for granted any shit coming from either Russia or America on such matters. They're both known for spamming propaganda and lies rather systematically.

Here's an european intelligence official confirming the report:

Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, a European intelligence official told CNN.

The official was unclear as to the precise Russian motivation, but said the incentives had, in their assessment, led to coalition casualties. The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries.
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Postby Baltenstein » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:44 am

Thermodolia wrote:
Ansarre wrote:It wouldn't be a waste.

Yes it would as Iran isn’t a russian ally. It’s more of a partnerish. The Russians and Iranians are currently at odds


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Vassenor
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Postby Vassenor » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:24 am

So Trump's defence for no condemnation is that no-one told him before.

Well, he knows now. So where's that condemnation?
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:40 am

Vassenor wrote:So Trump's defence for no condemnation is that no-one told him before.

Well, he knows now. So where's that condemnation?


Teleprompter job. Needs to be carefully written. If it's too strong, Trump will renounce it at the next news conference.
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Postby The Black Forrest » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:55 am

Vassenor wrote:So Trump's defence for no condemnation is that no-one told him before.

Well, he knows now. So where's that condemnation?


Wellllllllllll you have to think it through.

If he is not paying attention to the daily briefs, nobody told him.
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Postby Katganistan » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:08 am

Red Intria wrote:I've no interest in signing up for a NYT account; anyone able to give a breakdown of the evidence presented in the original NYT article? The Guardian article alluded to evidence, but did not present any.

Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment.
American troops in Afghanistan have been the target of some Taliban operations backed by Russia, intelligence officials found.
American troops in Afghanistan have been the target of some Taliban operations backed by Russia, intelligence officials found.Credit...Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times
Charlie SavageEric SchmittMichael Schwirtz

By Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz

Published June 26, 2020
Updated June 29, 2020, 10:34 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

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.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

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.

An operation to incentivize the killing of American and other NATO troops would be a significant and provocative escalation of what American and Afghan officials have said is Russian support for the Taliban, and it would be the first time the Russian spy unit was known to have orchestrated attacks on Western troops.

Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and covert and deniable military operations.

The Kremlin had not been made aware of the accusations, said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “If someone makes them, we’ll respond,” Mr. Peskov said.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied that the insurgents have “any such relations with any intelligence agency” and called the report an attempt to defame them.

“These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources,” he said. “That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.”
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Spokespeople at the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department and the C.I.A. declined to comment.

The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Mr. Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.

At a summit in 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Trump strongly suggested that he believed Mr. Putin’s denial that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential election, despite broad agreement within the American intelligence establishment that it did. Mr. Trump criticized a bill imposing sanctions on Russia when he signed it into law after Congress passed it by veto-proof majorities. And he has repeatedly made statements that undermined the NATO alliance as a bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence had been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.
ImagePresident Trump has suggested he believed a denial by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election.
President Trump has suggested he believed a denial by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election.Credit...Kirill Kallinikov/Host Photo Agency, via Getty Images

The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere.

The revelations came into focus inside the Trump administration at a delicate and distracted time. Although officials collected the intelligence earlier in the year, the interagency meeting at the White House took place as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and parts of the country were shutting down.

Moreover, as Mr. Trump seeks re-election in November, he wants to strike a peace deal with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan war.

Both American and Afghan officials have previously accused Russia of providing small arms and other support to the Taliban that amounts to destabilizing activity, although Russian government officials have dismissed such claims as “idle gossip” and baseless.

“We share some interests with Russia in Afghanistan, and clearly they’re acting to undermine our interests as well,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American forces in Afghanistan at the time, said in a 2018 interview with the BBC.

Though coalition troops suffered a spate of combat casualties last summer and early fall, only a few have since been killed. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked American positions since a February agreement.

American troops have also sharply reduced their movement outside military bases because of the coronavirus, reducing their exposure to attack.

While officials were said to be confident about the intelligence that Russian operatives offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing Americans, they have greater uncertainty about how high in the Russian government the covert operation was authorized and what its aim may be.

Some officials have theorized that the Russians may be seeking revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria in which the American military killed several hundred pro-Syrian forces, including numerous Russian mercenaries, as they advanced on an American outpost. Officials have also suggested that the Russians may have been trying to derail peace talks to keep the United States bogged down in Afghanistan. But the motivation remains murky.

The officials briefed on the matter said the government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had worked for British intelligence and then defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination. In addition to the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a year earlier.

American intelligence officials say the G.R.U. was at the center of Moscow’s covert efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In the months before that election, American officials say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Party servers and then used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing internal communications.

In part because those efforts were aimed at helping tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his handling of issues related to Russia and Mr. Putin has come under particular scrutiny. The special counsel investigation found that the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and expected to benefit from it, but found insufficient evidence to establish that his associates had engaged in any criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 tend to be much more violent than those involving the cyberunits. Its officers are often decorated military veterans with years of service, in some cases dating to the Soviet Union’s failed war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Never before has the unit been accused of orchestrating attacks on Western soldiers, but officials briefed on its operations say it has been active in Afghanistan for many years.

Though Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist organization in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent years. Taliban officials have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with other prominent Afghans, including the former president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the current Afghan government as well as anyone from the United States, and at times they have seemed to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to bring an end to the conflict.

The disclosure comes at a time when Mr. Trump has said he would invite Mr. Putin to an expanded meeting of the Group of 7 nations, but tensions between American and Russian militaries are running high.

In several recent episodes, in international territory and airspace from off the coast of Alaska to the Black and Mediterranean Seas, combat planes from each country have scrambled to intercept military aircraft from the other.

Mujib Mashal contributed reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Charlie Savage is a Washington-based national security and legal policy correspondent. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, he previously worked at The Boston Globe and The Miami Herald. His most recent book is “Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy.” @charlie_savage • Facebook

Eric Schmitt is a senior writer who has traveled the world covering terrorism and national security. He was also the Pentagon correspondent. A member of the Times staff since 1983, he has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. @EricSchmittNYT

Michael Schwirtz is an investigative reporter based at the United Nations. Previously he covered the countries of the former Soviet Union from the Moscow bureau and reported for the Metro Desk on policing and brutality and corruption in the prison system.


Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

The recovery of large amounts of American cash at a Taliban outpost in Afghanistan helped tip off U.S. officials. It is believed that at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties.
A car bomb killed American soldiers at this site near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in April 2019.
A car bomb killed American soldiers at this site near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in April 2019.Credit...Mohammad Ismail/Reuters
Eric SchmittAdam GoldmanNicholas Fandos

By Eric Schmitt, Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos

Published June 28, 2020
Updated June 29, 2020, 10:33 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter. They believed at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties, two of the officials said.

The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said.

Armed with this information, military and intelligence officials have been reviewing American and other coalition combat casualties over the past 18 months to determine whether any were victims of the plot. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked American positions since a February agreement to end the long-running war in Afghanistan.

The details added to the picture of the classified intelligence assessment, which The New York Times reported Friday has been under discussion inside the Trump administration since at least March, and emerged as the White House confronted a growing chorus of criticism on Sunday over its apparent failure to authorize a response to Russia.

Mr. Trump defended himself by denying the Times report that he had been briefed on the intelligence, expanding on a similar White House rebuttal a day earlier. But leading congressional Democrats and some Republicans demanded a response to Russia that, according to officials, the administration has yet to authorize.

The president “needs to immediately expose and handle this, and stop Russia’s shadow war,” Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Twitter.

Appearing on the ABC program “This Week,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not been briefed on the intelligence assessment and had asked for an immediate report to Congress. She accused Mr. Trump of wanting “to ignore” any charges against Russia.

“Russia has never gotten over the humiliation they suffered in Afghanistan, and now they are taking it out on us, our troops,” she said of the Soviet Union’s bloody war there in the 1980s. “This is totally outrageous. You would think that the minute the president heard of it, he would want to know more instead of denying that he knew anything.”

Spokespeople for the C.I.A., the director of national intelligence and the Pentagon declined to comment on the new findings. A National Security Council spokesman, John L. Ullyot, said in a statement on Sunday night, “The veracity of the underlying allegations continues to be evaluated.”
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Mr. Trump said Sunday night on Twitter that “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP.” One senior administration official offered a similar explanation, saying that Mr. Trump was not briefed because the intelligence agencies had come to no consensus on the findings.

But another official said there was broad agreement that the intelligence assessment was accurate, with some complexities because different aspects of the intelligence — including interrogations and surveillance data — resulted in some differences among agencies in how much confidence to put in each type.

Though the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, claimed on Saturday that Mr. Trump had not been briefed about the intelligence report, one American official had told The Times that the report was briefed to the highest levels of the White House. Another said it was included in the President’s Daily Brief, a compendium of foreign policy and national security intelligence compiled for Mr. Trump to read.

Ms. McEnany did not challenge The Times’s reporting on the existence of the intelligence assessment, a National Security Council interagency meeting about it in late March and the White House’s inaction. Multiple other news organizations also subsequently reported on the assessment, and The Washington Post first reported on Sunday that the bounties were believed to have resulted in the death of at least one American service member.

The officials briefed on the matter said that the assessment had been treated as a closely held secret but that the administration expanded briefings about it over the last week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces were among those said to have been targeted.

Republicans in Congress demanded more information from the Trump administration about what happened and how the White House planned to respond.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, said in a Twitter post on Sunday: “If reporting about Russian bounties on U.S. forces is true, the White House must explain: 1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the info in the PDB? 2. Who did know and when? 3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?”

Multiple Republicans retweeted Ms. Cheney’s post. Representative Daniel Crenshaw, Republican of Texas and a former member of the Navy SEALs, amplified her message, tweeting, “We need answers.”

In a statement in response to questions, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said he had long warned about Russia’s work to undermine American interests in the Middle East and southwest Asia and noted that he wrote an amendment last year rebuking Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

“The United States needs to prioritize defense resources, maintain a sufficient regional military presence and continue to impose serious consequences on those who threaten us and our allies — like our strikes in Syria and Afghanistan against ISIS, the Taliban and Russian mercenary forces that threatened our partners,” Mr. McConnell said.

Aides for other top Republicans either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican; Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In addition to saying he was never “briefed or told” about the intelligence report — a formulation that went beyond the White House denial of any formal briefing — Mr. Trump also cast doubt on the assessment’s credibility, which statements from his subordinates had not.

Specifically, he described the intelligence report as being about “so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians”; the report described bounties paid to Taliban militants by Russian military intelligence officers, not direct attacks. Mr. Trump also suggested that the developments could be a “hoax” and questioned whether The Times’s sources — government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity — existed.

Mr. Trump then pivoted to attack former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who criticized the president on Saturday for failing to punish Russia for offering bounties to the Taliban, as well as Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, who is the target of unsubstantiated claims that he helped a Ukrainian energy firm curry favor with the Obama administration when his father was vice president.

“Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine — Where’s Hunter?”

American officials said the Russian plot to pay bounties to Taliban fighters came into focus over the past several months after intelligence analysts and Special Operations forces put together key pieces of evidence.

One official said the seizure of a large amount of American cash at one Taliban site got “everybody’s attention” in Afghanistan. It was not clear when the money was recovered.

Two officials said the information about the bounty hunting was “well known” among the intelligence community in Afghanistan, including the C.I.A.’s chief of station and other top officials there, like the military commandos hunting the Taliban. The information was distributed in intelligence reports and highlighted in some of them.

The assessment was compiled and sent up the chain of command to senior military and intelligence officials, eventually landing at the highest levels of the White House. The Security Council meeting in March came at a delicate time, as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and prompting shutdowns around the country.

A former American official said the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, would have been involved in any decision to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s activities, as would have the intelligence analyst who briefs the president.. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, might have also weighed in, the former official said.

Ms. McEnany cited those three senior officials in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

National security officials have tracked Russia’s relationship with the Taliban for years and determined that Moscow has provided financial and material support to senior and regional Taliban leaders.

While Russia has at times cooperated with the United States and appeared interested in Afghan stability, it often seems to work at crosscurrents with its own national interest if the result is damage to American national interests, said a former senior Trump White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security assessments.

Revenge is also a factor in Russia’s support for the Taliban, the official said. Russia has been keen to even the scales after a bloody confrontation in 2018 in Syria, when a massive U.S. counterattack killed hundreds of Syrian forces along with Russian mercenaries nominally supported by the Kremlin.

“They are keeping a score sheet, and they want to punish us for that incident,” the official said.

Both Russia and the Taliban have denied the American intelligence assessment.

Ms. Pelosi said that if the president had not, in fact, been briefed, then the country should be concerned that his administration was afraid to share with him information regarding Russia.

Ms. Pelosi said that the episode underscored Mr. Trump’s accommodating stance toward Russia and that with him, “all roads lead to Putin.”

“This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,” she said. “Whether he is or not, his administration knows, and some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan have been briefed and accept this report.”

John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, said on “This Week” that he was not aware of the intelligence assessment, but he questioned Mr. Trump’s response on Twitter.

“What would motivate the president to do that, because it looks bad if Russians are paying to kill Americans and we’re not doing anything about it?” Mr. Bolton said. “The presidential reaction is to say: ‘It’s not my responsibility. Nobody told me about it.’ And therefore to duck any complaints that he hasn’t acted effectively.”

Mr. Bolton said this summed up Mr. Trump’s decision-making on national security issues. “It’s just unconnected to the reality he’s dealing with.”

Reporting was contributed by Julian E. Barnes, Charlie Savage, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Michael Schwirtz and Michael D. Shear.


Here you go.

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:09 am

Vassenor wrote:So Trump's defence for no condemnation is that no-one told him before.

Well, he knows now. So where's that condemnation?

Ah yes the "nobody told me" defense. Works every time, that's definitely for sure.
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Novus America
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Postby Novus America » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:40 am

Although this is quite partisan really, note how the Democrats want to cut deals with Iran while ignoring Iran during the same sort of thing. Both parties are grossly hypocritical.

Charitably you could argue that In the name of “realpolitik” getting a nuclear deal out of Iran or Russia is more important than stopping them killing our soldiers but honestly I doubt that is the motive.

It is probably negative partisanship, doing foreign policy to own the other party over what is best for the country. The party system is hostile to the US.
___|_|___ _|__*__|_

Zombie Ike/Teddy Roosevelt 2020.

Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. Pragmatism is my ideology.

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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:29 am

Novus America wrote:Although this is quite partisan really, note how the Democrats want to cut deals with Iran while ignoring Iran during the same sort of thing. Both parties are grossly hypocritical.

Charitably you could argue that In the name of “realpolitik” getting a nuclear deal out of Iran or Russia is more important than stopping them killing our soldiers but honestly I doubt that is the motive.

It is probably negative partisanship, doing foreign policy to own the other party over what is best for the country. The party system is hostile to the US.


Hmmm?

I am missing the link between paying bounties for dead US soldiers and trying to discourage Iran from developing the bomb......
*I am a master proofreader after I click Submit.
* There is actually a War on Christmas. But Christmas started it, with it's unparalleled aggression against the Thanksgiving Holiday, and now Christmas has seized much Lebensraum in November, and are pushing into October. The rest of us seek to repel these invaders, and push them back to the status quo ante bellum Black Friday border. -Trotskylvania
* Silence Is Golden But Duct Tape Is Silver.
* I felt like Ayn Rand cornered me at a party, and three minutes in I found my first objection to what she was saying, but she kept talking without interruption for ten more days. - Max Barry talking about Atlas Shrugged

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Novus America
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Postby Novus America » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:38 am

The Black Forrest wrote:
Novus America wrote:Although this is quite partisan really, note how the Democrats want to cut deals with Iran while ignoring Iran during the same sort of thing. Both parties are grossly hypocritical.

Charitably you could argue that In the name of “realpolitik” getting a nuclear deal out of Iran or Russia is more important than stopping them killing our soldiers but honestly I doubt that is the motive.

It is probably negative partisanship, doing foreign policy to own the other party over what is best for the country. The party system is hostile to the US.


Hmmm?

I am missing the link between paying bounties for dead US soldiers and trying to discourage Iran from developing the bomb......


You must be. Because Iran was paying people to kill American soldiers as well, but we decided to overlook that in the name of the nuclear negotiations. We reduced sanctions on Iran while they were paying proxies to kill our troops.

Overlooking attacks on our troops to cut a deal somewhere else.

That would be the same exact logic. Is it right? Very complicated, many said the nuclear deal was bad because it gave Iran more money to spend on attacks against our troops, but others said paying off Iran to abide by its treaty obligations (because I guess Iran only will follow treaties if you pay them supposedly) was more important than punishing them for the attacks.

The point is neither side appears to be arguing in good faith.

Sanctioning Russian further would harm START negotiations. Now I am okay with that because I think stopping this is more important than START but that is the point, consistency or lack thereof.
Last edited by Novus America on Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
___|_|___ _|__*__|_

Zombie Ike/Teddy Roosevelt 2020.

Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. Pragmatism is my ideology.

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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:46 am

Novus America wrote:
The Black Forrest wrote:
Hmmm?

I am missing the link between paying bounties for dead US soldiers and trying to discourage Iran from developing the bomb......


You must be. Because Iran was paying people to kill American soldiers as well, but we decided to overlook that in the name of the nuclear negotiations. We reduced sanctions on Iran while they were paying proxies to kill our troops.

Overlooking attacks on our troops to cut a deal somewhere else.

That would be the same exact logic. Is it right? Very complicated, many said the nuclear deal was bad because it gave Iran more money to spend on attacks against our troops, but others said paying off Iran to abide by its treaty obligations (because I guess Iran only will follow treaties if you pay them supposedly).

The point is neither side appears to be arguing in good faith.


Ohhh you are talking about the 2010 thing.

The Russian bounty system is still being looked at. Of course trump denies all knowledge of it and will probably follow up with a few lies.
*I am a master proofreader after I click Submit.
* There is actually a War on Christmas. But Christmas started it, with it's unparalleled aggression against the Thanksgiving Holiday, and now Christmas has seized much Lebensraum in November, and are pushing into October. The rest of us seek to repel these invaders, and push them back to the status quo ante bellum Black Friday border. -Trotskylvania
* Silence Is Golden But Duct Tape Is Silver.
* I felt like Ayn Rand cornered me at a party, and three minutes in I found my first objection to what she was saying, but she kept talking without interruption for ten more days. - Max Barry talking about Atlas Shrugged

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Novus America
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Postby Novus America » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:52 am

The Black Forrest wrote:
Novus America wrote:
You must be. Because Iran was paying people to kill American soldiers as well, but we decided to overlook that in the name of the nuclear negotiations. We reduced sanctions on Iran while they were paying proxies to kill our troops.

Overlooking attacks on our troops to cut a deal somewhere else.

That would be the same exact logic. Is it right? Very complicated, many said the nuclear deal was bad because it gave Iran more money to spend on attacks against our troops, but others said paying off Iran to abide by its treaty obligations (because I guess Iran only will follow treaties if you pay them supposedly).

The point is neither side appears to be arguing in good faith.


Ohhh you are talking about the 2010 thing.

The Russian bounty system is still being looked at. Of course trump denies all knowledge of it and will probably follow up with a few lies.


Yes, because the Republicans ripped Obama for ignoring Iranian attacks on US troops to get a deal on something else. While the Democrats praised Obama. Now the situation is in reverse and the hypocrisy of both parties is in full display.

Of course the did Trump actually know is another question.

Certainly this needs to be investigated further, lying about it would be the bigger issue, because as distasteful as we might find it, ignoring attacks on our troops to get a deal elsewhere has been going on for a long time.
Now one might find such realpolitik bad, but it is not necessarily illegal for a president to engage in such realpolitik.
___|_|___ _|__*__|_

Zombie Ike/Teddy Roosevelt 2020.

Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. Pragmatism is my ideology.

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South Odreria 2
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Founded: Aug 26, 2019
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Postby South Odreria 2 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:26 pm

What about evidence
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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:38 pm

South Odreria 2 wrote:What about evidence

The evidence was included in Trumps daily briefings.
Which he claims he does not read. Because he is like Ahnold - elected to lead, not to read.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease.
It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
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The Lone Alliance
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Postby The Lone Alliance » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:16 pm

Problem is that what could the US really have done to stop it.

We're not going to declare war on Russia, we're already sanctioning them, I mean I guess Trump could have paid Cechnyans to murder Russian soldiers but that's doing two wrongs.... Fuck
And knowing how stupid Trump is I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out we're doing that and that's why Russia is doing it.
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." -Herman Goering
--------------
War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; -William Tecumseh Sherman

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