CNN has contacted the NSC, the Defense Department, the State Department and the CIA, and has received no comment.
According to the Times, the Trump administration held expanded briefings on the intelligence assessment this week and shared information about it with the British government, whose forces are also believed to have been attacked.
The newspaper reported that officials thought of possible responses, including starting with a diplomatic complaint to Moscow, a demand for cessation and sanctions, but the White House has yet to authorize any action.
The Russian embassy in Washington, DC, denounced the Times report on Friday as “unfounded allegations” that have led to death threats against Russian diplomats in Washington and London.
The Taliban also rejected the Times report that they were offered rewards from Russia for attacking US troops in Afghanistan.
“We strongly reject this accusation. The Jihad of the Islamic Emirate for nineteen years is not indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence agency or foreign country and the Islamic Emirate does not need anyone to specify targets either,” said the spokesman for the militant group Zabihullah Mujahid. . he said in a statement Saturday.
In its covert operation, the Russian spy unit within the GRU intelligence agency had offered rewards for successful attacks last year, and Islamist militants, or armed criminal associates, are believed to have raised reward money, the Times reported.
The Times reported that the motivations behind the operation are unclear and there is uncertainty about how far into the Kremlin the operation was authorized.
The US intelligence assessment is said to have been based in part on the interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals, according to the newspaper.
But Trump and his administration point to U.S. sanctions against Russia, arguing that it has been tougher on the country than previous presidents.
US troops are currently serving in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist, and advise Afghan forces and focus on counter-terrorism operations targeting local ISIS affiliate and al-Qaeda.
CNN’s Radina Gigova and Karen Smith contributed to this report.