Republican lawmakers demanded answers from the White House about reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had put bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and that the U.S. had taken no action in response.
In his first comment on the matter, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that “nobody briefed or told me” about the “so-called attacks,” a comment that his former national security adviser termed “remarkable.”
The New York Times reported Friday on the alleged actions by Russian military intelligence — paying Taliban-linked militias to kill American and British troops — and that Trump and other top White House officials had been briefed on the matter months ago. Major elements were also reported by the Washington Post.
In a follow-up story Sunday, the Times wrote that commandos and spies on the ground in Afghanistan had reported their findings to superiors in January and that they had first grown suspicious after discovering a large stash of U.S. dollars at a Taliban outpost. The U.S. military was reviewing attacks on Americans in the ground for possible links to the alleged Russian incentive plan, the Times said.