Recent reports have alleged that the Russian government offered monetary rewards to Taliban terrorists for killing American soldiers. But while presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has accused President Donald Trump of turning a blind eye to this information, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was quick to put an end to those rumors.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday, McEnany explained that neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were ever briefed on “alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” meaning they didn’t even know it was happening, as the Washington Examiner reported.
“The United States receives thousands of intelligence reports a day, and they are subject to strict scrutiny,” McEnany said, according to the Washington Examiner.
She went on: “While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA director, national security adviser, and the chief of staff can all confirm that neither the president nor the vice president were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”
Reports and allegations
The Journal article stated that “[a] Russian spy unit paid members of Afghanistan’s Taliban movement to conduct lethal attacks on U.S. troops in that country, according to a classified American intelligence assessment, people familiar with the report said.”
According to The New York Times, the administration was presented with a number of possible responses, yet thus far, nothing has been done.
“Worse than nothing”
For his part, former Vice President Biden was quick to pounce on the claims that Trump remained passive in the face of Russian aggression.
“There is no bottom to the depth of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s depravity, if that’s true,” Biden was quoted by the Washington Examiner as saying. “President Trump, the commander in chief of American troops in a dangerous theater of war, has known about this for months, according to the Times, and has done worse than nothing.”
Biden went on: “Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin.”
In another article, the Examiner noted that some 24 American military personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of 2019, although how many of those killings can be traced to Russian money is still not clear.
Either way, this clearly wasn’t a case of White House oversight. Perhaps Biden should try getting his facts straight before lodging unfounded allegations.