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National Security & Intelligence

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

CNN is reporting that, despite denials by Donald Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, information on Russia paying bounties for the murder of American soldiers was included in Trump's "daily brief." That briefing happened "sometime in the spring," though CNN does not indicate that their source provided a precise date for the briefing. The source indicated that this was such a big deal — directly involving the safety of American forces in Afghanistan — that it certainly would have been included in information that reached Trump.

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President Trump denied on Sunday that American spy agencies ever briefed him about intelligence showing that Russia had offered rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing US troops in Afghanistan. Trump bristled in tweets excoriating the report by The New York Times as "Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax."

"Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an 'anonymous source' by the Fake News @nytimes,"

"Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us...."

"Nobody's been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration."

Citing anonymous official sources, the newspaper said Trump was briefed on the US intelligence findings in March, but has not decided how to respond. The Times investigation has since been confirmed by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

According to the Times, US intelligence officials learned that a Russian military intelligence unit had offered "bounties" to Taliban fighters to kill soldiers belonging to of the US-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan.