The White House on Saturday (local time) denied that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on intelligence findings that alleged a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, USAToday reported.
"The United States receives thousands of intelligence reports a day and they are subject to strict scrutiny," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
The New York Times (NYT) published an article on Friday, in which it cited unnamed government sources as saying that Trump was presented with an intelligence report that claimed that Moscow could have paid a bounty to Taliban in Afghanistan to kill US soldiers. The outlet said that Trump failed to act on the report.
While the White House does not routinely make remarks on intelligence or internal deliberations, "the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President was briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence," McEnany said.
She added that her statement "does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter".
The Taliban has also refuted reports on Russia's alleged role in killings of American troops in Afghanistan.
In February, the US and the Taliban signed a peace deal that concluded after several rounds of talks to launch the reconciliation process in Afghanistan after almost two decades of armed conflict and insurgency.
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