AIRLINK 74.70 Increased By ▲ 0.41 (0.55%)
BOP 4.97 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.4%)
CNERGY 4.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.23%)
DFML 41.00 Increased By ▲ 2.20 (5.67%)
DGKC 86.14 Increased By ▲ 1.32 (1.56%)
FCCL 21.23 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.09%)
FFBL 34.15 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.09%)
FFL 9.70 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
GGL 10.43 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.1%)
HBL 113.71 Increased By ▲ 0.71 (0.63%)
HUBC 137.63 Increased By ▲ 1.43 (1.05%)
HUMNL 11.64 Decreased By ▼ -0.26 (-2.18%)
KEL 4.82 Increased By ▲ 0.11 (2.34%)
KOSM 4.70 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (5.86%)
MLCF 37.96 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (0.82%)
OGDC 140.02 Increased By ▲ 3.82 (2.8%)
PAEL 25.55 Increased By ▲ 0.45 (1.79%)
PIAA 20.68 Increased By ▲ 1.44 (7.48%)
PIBTL 6.66 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.75%)
PPL 123.00 Increased By ▲ 0.90 (0.74%)
PRL 26.74 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (0.34%)
PTC 14.00 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (0.5%)
SEARL 58.62 Increased By ▲ 1.40 (2.45%)
SNGP 67.73 Increased By ▲ 0.13 (0.19%)
SSGC 10.32 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (0.68%)
TELE 8.46 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.71%)
TPLP 11.16 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.27%)
TRG 64.12 Increased By ▲ 1.31 (2.09%)
UNITY 26.58 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.3%)
WTL 1.44 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (6.67%)
BR100 7,861 Increased By 50.9 (0.65%)
BR30 25,459 Increased By 308.7 (1.23%)
KSE100 75,239 Increased By 282.7 (0.38%)
KSE30 24,206 Increased By 122.7 (0.51%)

White House to brief Democrats on alleged Russian payments to kill US troops

  • "The Administration, including the National Security Council staff, have been preparing should the situation warrant action."
  • White House officials promised to brief Democratic lawmakers only after sharing information with Trump's fellow Republicans.
Published June 30, 2020

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has been preparing to react if necessary to intelligence that Russia allegedly paid the Taliban to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump's national security adviser said as the White House prepared on Tuesday to brief Democratic lawmakers on the matter.

"The Administration, including the National Security Council staff, have been preparing should the situation warrant action," National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement late Monday night.

The White House has sought to play down reports that it knew about accusations that Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill US and other coalition troops but had not briefed Trump or moved on the information. That raised serious concerns among both Republicans and Democrats about not only the safety of American forces but also the administration's handling of the matter.

White House officials promised to brief Democratic lawmakers only after sharing information with Trump's fellow Republicans, who were briefed on Monday. The meeting was set for 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), according to an aide.

At least two Republicans said they still had concerns following their meeting.

Four US government sources confirmed to Reuters following weekend media reports that classified US intelligence reports suggested that a Russian military intelligence unit had offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill US and allied forces in Afghanistan. The sources indicated US government agencies and experts on balance believed the intelligence reporting to be credible.

Subsequent reports in the New York Times and Washington Post said several American soldiers were believed to have died as a result of the program, which the Kremlin has denied.

Several news outlets have also reported that information on the bounties was included in a daily written report delivered to the president in February and in a CIA publication in May.

Reuters could not immediately confirm those reports.

Democratic US Representative Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer who was among those invited to Tuesday's briefing, said its inclusion in the presidential daily brief showed the information was "credible and that there was sourcing behind it that was deeply concerning and vetted to some level."

That Trump "didn't take the time to read the document is not an excuse ... What comes next? He maybe didn't know it. He maybe didn't read the brief, but now he knows it. Now everyone knows it. What are we going to do about it?" she told CNN in an interview ahead of the White House meeting.

Trump administration officials and the White House have said there was no consensus on the underlying intelligence among US agencies and Trump had not been made aware of it, something O'Brien echoed in his statement late Monday.

O'Brien also said whoever told the media about the intelligence reports endangered national security. John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, in a statement on Monday said the "unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story."

The Pentagon, in a separate statement, said that it was continuing to evaluate intelligence.

Trump has also said US intelligence officials told him they had not informed him of Moscow's purported program because the information was not credible.

The Republican lawmakers were briefed on Monday by Ratcliffe, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and O'Brien.

Representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs panel, afterward said the administration needed to complete its ongoing review of the intelligence before retaliatory actions could be taken.

If verified the administration must "take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable," McCaul said in a statement with fellow panel member Adam Kinzinger.


Comments are closed.