The White House said this week it did not have sufficient evidence to support a report repeatedly mentioned by some Democrats, such as Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Who alleged that Russian agents offered bonuses to the Taliban to attack US troops in Afghanistan. – and that President Donald Trump has done nothing about it.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that after a review of the classified reports, the intelligence community determined it had only “low to moderate confidence” in their authenticity. . She said this was in part due to the way the intelligence was obtained, including from interrogations of Afghan detainees.
Trump’s White House was said to have been made aware of the reports on the bonuses offered.
Some Democrats have used this information against the former president as proof of his warm relationship with Putin and presented it as a failure to protect US troops.
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Duckworth, who is a combat veteran, has tweeted dozens of times about the former president’s alleged reluctance to face Putin.
She also called for a hearing, introduced a bill, used the hashtag “#BountyGate” and delivered a speech to her fellow lawmakers.
A spokesperson for the senator did not return Fox News’ request for comment on the final details of the White House Biden report.
There have always been doubts within the intelligence community about the report.
Then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Trump himself had not been briefed on the matter because intelligence reports “had not been verified.” The then-US military commanders also said the raw intelligence did not lead them to change their posture of protecting forces in Afghanistan.
Trump tweeted over the summer that he had not been informed because the information was not considered credible, and suggested that it was a “hoax.”
In September, General Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, told NBC News that the existence of bounties had not been proven “at a level” that satisfied him.
“We continue to search for this evidence,” the general told the outlet. “I just haven’t seen it yet. But… it’s not a closed issue.”
Defense officials said they also did not believe the said bounties resulted in the deaths of Americans.
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Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, continued to push the issue anyway.
In March, she pushed for information on the reports to be declassified, while saying the military deserved to know whether Trump was “really doing nothing” if bonuses were paid to the head of the military.
She also praised President Biden for addressing Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue “at the earliest opportunity.”
Biden raised the issue with Putin in January.
The White House said this week that there is evidence that Russian military intelligence is interacting with individuals belonging to Afghan criminal networks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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