Officials deny Russia-Taliban connection
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/29/20, 05:12 pm
A New York Times report that Moscow offered terrorists in Afghanistan money to kill U.S. soldiers was “nonsense” that showed the “low intellectual abilities of the propagandists of American intelligence,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. It’s unknown whether the alleged scheme directly resulted in any American soldiers’ deaths, the Times reported, citing anonymous officials.
What do the key players say? President Donald Trump said he never received a briefing on the matter, though U.S. intelligence officers investigated it. “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or [Vice President Mike Pence],” the president tweeted on Sunday. The Taliban, which is supposed to be implementing a peace deal it made with the United States, also rejected the report. But Republicans in Congress such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming called for more information about the potential bounties.
Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in The Sift on how a lasting peace deal in Afghanistan became stalled.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.