Exclusive: Trump never raised Russia's Taliban bounties with Putin

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  gsquared  •  one week ago  •  31 comments

By:   Jonathan Swan,Dave Lawler (Axios)

Exclusive: Trump never raised Russia's Taliban bounties with Putin
I have never discussed it with him.

Why won't Trump confront Putin?  Why won't Trump protect American servicemen and women?  It cannot be a mere dereliction of duty.  There is something far more sinister about the Trump/Putin relationship.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Jonathan Swan, Dave Lawler

President Trump has never confronted Vladimir Putin with intelligence indicating Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, he told "Axios on HBO" in an interview on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Democrats have seized on the issue, and Trump's reluctance to discuss it, as evidence he's unwilling to challenge Putin even when American lives are at stake.

  • Trump spoke with Putin on Thursday, and subsequently deflected a question about whether he'd raised the alleged bounty scheme, saying on Monday: "We don't talk about what we discussed, but we had plenty of discussion."

In Tuesday's interview, he was definitive:

"I have never discussed it with him."

Pressed on why he didn't raise the matter in Thursday's call, he said: "That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that's an issue that many people said was fake news."

  • Trump has spoken to Putin at least eight times since intelligence about the alleged Russian bounties was reportedly included in the President's Daily Brief — his written intelligence briefing — in late February.
  • Trump's team says he was not verbally briefed on the matter before a June 26 report from the New York Times brought the controversy out into the open.

Between the lines: There's no clear consensus within the intelligence community about the strength of the evidence that Russia paid the bounties — though that's not the case when it comes to Russia's broader support for the Taliban.

  • In 2018, Gen. John Nicholson, then the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, accused Russia of providing money and arms to the group, saying, "we know that the Russians are involved."
  • Trump told "Axios on HBO" that he was not aware of Nicholson's comments, and said evidence that Russia was aiding the Taliban "never reached my desk."

The backstory: The New York Times reported in June that U.S. intelligence had concluded "months ago" that an infamous Russian military intelligence unit had offered payments for each U.S. or allied soldier killed.

  • Those payments were funneled through middlemen and could run as high as $100,000, according to the Times.
  • The White House claimed that Trump had not been briefed on the matter because the intelligence was inconclusive.
  • Multiple outlets subsequently reported that the intelligence was included in the PDB, but that Trump may not have read it.
  • Trump insisted in the interview that he does read the PDB — "they like to say I don't read, I read a lot" — but stood by the claim that the matter "never reached my desk" because U.S. intelligence "didn't think it was real."

While the CIA appears to have concluded months ago that Russia did offer the bounties, the NSA reportedly disagreed.

  • However, several former national security officials have questioned the rationale for not briefing Trump about such a serious issue, even if the intelligence was not rock solid.
  • The Kremlin and the Taliban have, unsurprisingly, denied the existence of any bounty scheme.

This issue has featured in Democratic attacks in the lead-up to November's election.

  • Joe Biden accused Trump of "dereliction of duty," claiming he either wasn't briefed on a life-and-death matter, or "was briefed and nothing was done about this."
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who has been considered a potential Biden running mate, has been updating a tally of how many days Trump has gone without challenging Russia on the matter.

Flashback: Suspicions of Russian support for the Taliban have swirled within the U.S. intelligence community since Barack Obama's second term, though firm intelligence — including on any bounty scheme — didn't come until later, Axios contributor Zach Dorfman reports.
What to watch: The Taliban and U.S. signed a deal in February aiming to bring U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan to an end after nearly two decades. Trump insists the U.S. will move ahead with its withdrawal, though the intra-Afghan peace process that was to precede an American exit has repeatedly broken down.

The full interview will air Monday, August 3, 2020 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
Gsquared
1  seeder  Gsquared    one week ago

No sentient human being can possibly believe Trump's lies.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
2  FLYNAVY1    one week ago

More to the point..... Trump couldn't care less about those in uniform that he is supposed to be the commander-n-chief for, nor the American they defend.

There is no way to defend Trump's actions or inactions on this topic.  He is a disgrace to the office of the presidency.

 
 
 
Gsquared
2.1  seeder  Gsquared  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2    one week ago

Absolutely correct.

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     one week ago

Why would he, no matter what Putin told him Trump would say he believed him (Putin).

It's like Groundhog day all over again.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    one week ago
Why won't Trump confront Putin?

What do people imagine would happen if he did? Putin would fall to his knees in tears, confess his guilt, and beg forgiveness? If not, then what is the point of "confronting" him, whatever that means?

Why won't Trump protect American servicemen and women? 

How would confronting Putin accomplish that beyond anything else we already do? We are already doing everything under our own power and authority we can every day to protect everyone serving this country. Do people really think that our military is so weak and helpless that they are especially vulnerable to Vladimir Putin because he (allegedly) put out a bounty? Do they really have such a low opinion of our own people's ability to protect each other?

 
 
 
Gsquared
4.1  seeder  Gsquared  replied to  Tacos! @4    one week ago

What we experience time after time is Trump falling on his knees in front of Putin.  

By refusing to confront Putin, Trump signals to Putin that "it's all good... you've got a green light to kill Americans". 

Trump's misconduct is indefensible.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Gsquared @4.1    one week ago
What we experience time after time is Trump falling on his knees in front of Putin.

We have?

By refusing to confront Putin, Trump signals to Putin that "it's all good... you've got a green light to kill Americans". 

Honestly, I think that's pretty dumb. You genuinely believe that Trump thinks it's ok for Russians to kill Americans? Honestly?

Trump's misconduct is indefensible.

What misconduct? It wasn't his choice to not be briefed on this. It's pretty clear that some number of people, whose job it is to decide these things, thought it wasn't worth his attention.

 
 
 
Gsquared
4.1.2  seeder  Gsquared  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.1    one week ago

We have?

Yes, we have.  He is constantly kowtowing to Putin.  Where have you been?

Honestly?

Honestly, I think the fact you can't see that Trump is giving the green light to Putin to do what he wants is... questionable.

What misconduct?

It was in the President's Daily Brief. which Trump refuses, or is unable, to read.  And he knows about it now, so what is his excuse?  He pretends that it's "fake".  More kowtowing to Putin.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4.1.3  Tacos!  replied to  Gsquared @4.1.2    one week ago
He is constantly kowtowing to Putin.  Where have you been?

Yeah I hear a lot about it, but actual examples are scarce.

Honestly, I think the fact you can't see that Trump is giving the green light to Putin to do what he wants is... questionable.

No I asked you a specific question. I'm not interested in you changing the subject.

And he knows about it now, so what is his excuse?

What do you think he should be doing about it?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
4.1.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.3    one week ago

So as usual Tacos, you can be counted on to be totally complicit in Trump's actions/inactions with respect to the Russia up to and including putting bounties on American soldiers.  Is there anything that you can be counted on to support related to America?  With the exception of the 2nd, [deleted]

 
 
 
Tacos!
4.1.5  Tacos!  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @4.1.4    one week ago
So as usual Tacos, you can be counted on to be totally complicit in Trump's actions/inactions

So as usual Flynavy, you can be counted on to make it personal rather than just discuss the topic.

I don't just get mindlessly swept along in whatever hysterical nonsense gets published. Unlike some, I can think for myself and I need reasons that are true before I get upset about it. I have asked specific questions about this story and rather than answer them, you chose to internet flex on me again instead of addressing them. As usual.

 
 
 
TTGA
4.1.6  TTGA  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.3    one week ago
What do you think he should be doing about it?

Maybe he'd be satisfied if the President was actively attempting to start WW III.  Probably not though, then he couldn't find anything to blame on Trump, although he'd probably try.

Gsquared, do you know what a Bronze Star is?  How about a Silver Star.  How about an Iron Cross?  They are bounties for killing enemy soldiers.  They just aren't cash bounties.  All nations give out rewards for killing the enemy.

Grow up people.  This is not a beach party a frat fight or even a courtroom.  It's international politics where gentlemen settle their differences based on who has, and will use, the biggest club.  In such situations, you don't start a fight over something like this unless you're ready and willing to go to war.

 
 
 
Gsquared
4.1.7  seeder  Gsquared  replied to  TTGA @4.1.6    one week ago

Do you know what condescending is? 

I take it from the rest of your comment that you have no qualms about Putin's conduct.  Trump certainly doesn't.  

 
 
 
TTGA
4.1.8  TTGA  replied to  Gsquared @4.1.7    4 days ago

It's not about Putin, nor is it about Trump.  It's about the Leftists and their unrealistic, childish attitude.  Of course, it may not be what they really feel and may just be another attempt to attack Trump at any cost, including starting a war if that's what it takes to nail him.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6  Trout Giggles    one week ago

IF it can be proven that trmp does know about the bounties and he refused to do anything or act like it's all fake news I would say that's treason.

However, more qualified people than me would know if it is treason or not.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
6.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Trout Giggles @6    one week ago

It can't be proven that he knows about it, but it can be proven that he was briefed either verbally or in his written daily brief which he is obligated to read in service to America.  If it was in the written brief, and he didn't read it, then he is negligent in his capacity as CNC. Treason no..... incompetent... to be sure.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1    one week ago

I knew someone more qualified than me would know. :)

 
 
 
Tacos!
6.2  Tacos!  replied to  Trout Giggles @6    one week ago
and he refused to do anything

For example?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.2.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tacos! @6.2    one week ago

Like stamp his feet and tell Putin to knock the shit off

 
 
 
Tacos!
6.2.2  Tacos!  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.2.1    one week ago

Putin would just deny it. Then what? Should we impose even more sanctions on Russia than we already have? Go to war?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.2    one week ago

I don't know...at least pretend he's mad at Putin for it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
6.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @6.2    one week ago
For example?

Personally, I think that Trump should draw one of those famous red lines in the sand.

Always seems to work!

 
 
 
Tacos!
6.2.5  Tacos!  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.2.3    one week ago

I try to ignore what Trump says about other people. Whether it's his immediate family, somebody working for him, or a world leader he could say anything at the drop of a hat and it never amounts to anything. How many times has he said something nasty about Dr. Fauci? But the guy still has his job. One day he loves Kim Jong Un; the next, he can't be trusted. One day we're friends with Germany, and the next day, they can't be trusted.

I would consider any public condemnation of Putin useless and so would Putin, for that matter. Nothing Trump (or any president) says or does (or could do) is going to improve things for our people serving. We're already doing our best to protect them.

This whole bounty thing is a red herring. Does anybody really believe someone is going to take on the US Military for the exclusive reason that Putin might pay them to do it? For that matter, does anyone who might be inclined to do so (in the Taliban presumably) actually trust Putin to pay them?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.2.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.5    one week ago

I think the Taliban is made up of a bunch of dummies so yeah I think they are stupid enough to kill US troops for money. And like I said, they're dummies so if they don't get paid, that's their problem.

Like Otter said in Animal House:

"You fucked up! You trusted us!"

 
 
 
Tacos!
6.2.7  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.4    one week ago
Trump should draw one of those famous red lines in the sand

Apparently that's what people seem to want. 

Lines-in-the-Sand.png

 
 
 
Gsquared
6.2.8  seeder  Gsquared  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.2    one week ago

Should we impose even more sanctions on Russia than we already have?

Yes.

 
 
 
Ender
7  Ender    one week ago

When asked about Russia giving arms to the taliban, he basically said, so what...we did it too.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
7.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ender @7    one week ago

Yes we did (but they were called the Mujahadeen then) and this is why we're involved in Afghanistan right now

 
 
 
Ender
8  Ender    one week ago

512

 
 
 
Gsquared
8.1  seeder  Gsquared  replied to  Ender @8    one week ago

Love it E!

 
 
 
Ronin2
9  Ronin2    one week ago

The amount of stupidity on the left is increasing by staggering proportions. Does anyone really think Putin just started paying the Taliban bounties?  Our lack of intelligence services might have just caught on; but anyone that has studied history knows better.

We have been in Afghanistan for the last 3 administrations- since October of 2001 when we first started bombing the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Now why would Russia/Putin care that the US is in Afghanistan? Because when a Russian backed government (aka puppet) had control of Afghanistan we were the ones that trained, armed, and yes paid those self same Taliban and Al Qaeda to fight their puppet government and kill Russian troops. Think Putin doesn't have a memory or hold a grudge? Think he wasn't paying the Taliban to kill US soldiers long before Trump took office? Putin didn't love Bush Jr or Obama either. Bush Jr pushed Russia on Georgia, and Obama pushed Russia on the Ukraine, and Syria.

So why aren't we at war with Russia? The same damn reason they are not at war with the US right now. In Syria Russia and US ships and aircraft play high stakes games of chicken with each other on a daily basis. If any place should cause a war between the US and Russia it is Syria; but both sides use proxies to fight their battles on the ground. Proxies seem to have been deemed OK over the course of our relations with Russia. The US is supplying Ukraine with weapons now; a clear escalation of using the Ukraine government proxy that Obama put in place. That is putting Russian backed ground forces and Russian troops directly in harms way; but has Russia declared war on the US? No. 

So getting into a snit over Russia paying the Taliban to kill US soldiers, please. Both sides have done the same countless times before. In fact, the US has a significant lead in poking the bear repeatedly in these instances.

Want to get upset over something real? It should be that US forces are still in Afghanistan! Going on 20 years of mass stupidity thinking we can install a Democratic government in a disjointed third world shit hole like Afghanistan. Thank Obama for tying the US indefinitely to Afghanistan with his piss poor SOFA tying the US to a weak, corrupt Afghani government that doesn't control anything outside of the capital. They will never be stable enough for the US to leave. Trump tried and the Neocons and Chicken Hawks screamed until he backed down. WTF do we hope to accomplish by staying other than wasting more US service men and women lives?  If we weren't on the ground in Afghanistan the Taliban would be zero threat to US solders.

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online




Gsquared


38 visitors