Multiple intelligence streams suggest Russians pay rewards for US troops, Trump was not informed: official

Multiple streams of intelligence threats indicated that Russian intelligence agents offered rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing US troops, but although the National Security Council recently met to provide a series of responses to the report, it did not report. to President Trump, Fox News has learned.

According to a senior US official who has been briefed on the matter, NSC members recently met at the White House to discuss “a menu of responses” to reports they had received about Russian actions in Afghanistan.

The official said the information the NSC received was based on “various intelligence streams of interest,” some of which are contradictory and others open to interpretation.

The news that Moscow allegedly offered rewards to Afghan militants who killed US soldiers was first reported over the weekend in the New York Times.


The Washington Post also reported that the Russian rewards “are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several members of the American service.” And The Associated Press reported that authorities said an April 2019 attack on a U.S. convoy that killed three Marines in Afghanistan is under investigation.

The Kremlin denies the claims. A Putin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told NBC News on Monday that the story of Russia’s rewards is “bull-t.”

Meanwhile, a White House official acknowledged to Fox News on Monday that Trump has been briefed on the intelligence behind Russian rewards reports on US troops in Afghanistan. It is unclear exactly when this briefing took place, but the official says it took place sometime “after the NY Times reported on unverified intelligence.”

This statement is at odds with the responses that Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, gave to members of the White House press corps during Monday’s briefing. McEnany said: “The President has not been informed on the matter” and gave multiple variations of that response throughout the briefing. But the White House official said: “Kayleigh meant that the President had not been previously briefed on the matter (before the NYT report came out)”

The White House insisted on Monday that there is no “consensus” that the intelligence that Russia offered rewards to Taliban-linked militants for killing US troops is accurate, so the problem was never reported, he said. to President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence

The administration’s comments come after a tweet on Sunday night by Trump insisting that he had not been informed of the reports because the intelligence community “did not find this information credible” and amid mounting pressure from Congress to Get to the bottom of whether Trump knew of the alleged rewards, and if so, why no retribution against Russia was known.

A separate source within the military told Fox News on Monday that special operations forces this year raided a Taliban outpost and recovered approximately $ 500,000, with subsequent questioning by an Afghan fighter revealing that the money came from Russia.

However, the source added that the information could not be easily verified and that the incident was not included in briefings for top Pentagon leaders.


American officials are now concerned about the leaked story that Russia will try to cover its tracks in this so-called reward scheme.

Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., who played golf with Trump on Sunday, tweeted on Saturday that it is “The Imperative Congress gets to the bottom of recent media reports that Russian GRU units in Afghanistan have offered to pay the Taliban to kill US soldiers with the aim. ” to expel the United States from the region. “GRU is a Russian military intelligence agency.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, asked the White House to share more information with Congress and said that if it is true, lawmakers should know “Who knew and when?” and, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, “What has been done in response to protect our forces and hold Putin accountable?”

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said reports that Trump knew that the Russian rewards would be a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander-in-chief and his failure to protect US troops in Afghanistan and confront Russia.

Russia called the report “nonsense.”

Fox News’ Kristin Fisher, Tyler Olsen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.