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CNN: Trump May Have Skipped Briefing On Russian Bounties

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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Trump Claims He Was Never Briefed About Russian Bounty On US Soldiers


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.

Trump’s Taliban Deal Is Already Falling Apart

The peace deal Donald Trump struck with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan is already falling apart, with the top U.S. commander saying that the Taliban is already violating the agreement by resuming attacks on Afghan forces.

Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday that if the Taliban continues with the level of violence, he will recommend that the military not withdraw troops from Afghanistan, as laid out in a deal Trump announced on Feb. 29.

“To date, Taliban attacks are higher than we believe are consistent with an idea to actually carry out this plan,” McKenzie said, according to the Associated Press. “If they’re unable to draw down the current level of attacks, then the political leadership will be able to make decisions based on that.”

The deal the Trump administration struck with the Taliban would require the group to renounce al-Qaida and prevent terrorist attacks in the country. In exchange, the United States would begin drawing back troops from the country, with a full draw down to occur in 14 months.

Trump personally took credit for the deal, saying, “We think we’ll be successful in the end.”

However, it apparently took less than two weeks for the Taliban to drop its end of the deal, carrying out at least 76 attacks since the deal was announced, the New York Times reported.

One Democratic senator who was briefed on the situation said he thinks Trump got played by the group.

“I got a classified briefing today on the agreement with the Taliban. I have been a supporter of negotiations with the Taliban, but the more I learn, the more concerned I become that Trump got fleeced,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted late Monday night.

According to Murphy, “The Taliban’s security guarantees are so vague as to be effectively void. It’s not clear how we will track whether they are indeed renouncing terrorist groups.”

McKenzie was asked about this specific concern on Tuesday. He agreed that it was challenging to determine whether the Taliban was, in fact, renouncing al-Qaida.

“That’s something they [the Taliban] are going to have to demonstrate that has not yet been demonstrated,” he said, according to the AP.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

#EndorseThis: Kimmel Mocks Trump’s ‘Taliban Sleepover’

“Donald Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David — three days before 9/11! Next month, he’s taking Al Qaeda to Six Flags, did you know that?”

So begins Jimmy Kimmel’s scorching monologue, which captures the absurd dynamics now at work in the Trump White House. As Kimmel notes, even Republicans were appalled by this mad scheme, although most of them are still groveling publicly.

He moves briskly on to the president’s absurd Twitter spat with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen (won decisively by the lady) and provides bonus video of Don Jr. in village idiot mode.

Don’t miss it. Just click.