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Thomas Gallatin / Jun. 29, 2020

Leftmedia Targets Trump With Russia/Taliban Bounty Claim

The New York Times claims Trump ignored intel that Russia paid the Taliban to target U.S. troops.

The New York Times dropped yet another “bombshell” story Friday clearly intended to damage President Donald Trump, this time using U.S. military personnel. The headline read, “Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says.” The article cites “anonymous” U.S. intelligence officials who claim that Russia has been running a bounty program for months, paying Taliban militants to target and assassinate American troops, all while the U.S. has been engaged in peace talks with the Taliban. According to the Times, Trump was briefed about the program, yet the White House’s National Security Council has not responded to the Russian provocation. Naturally, the Times not-so-subtly insinuated that Trump and company ignored the intel report because Trump is best buddies with Vladimir Putin.

However, since the February peace agreement, the Taliban have not attacked any U.S. positions in Afghanistan. For what little it’s worth, both Russian and Taliban officials deny any such bounty agreement exists. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid states, “These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources.” Mujahid asserted of American troops, “We don’t attack them.”

Trump was quick to deny the Times report, calling it “fake news.” “Nobody briefed or told me, [Vice President Mike] Pence or Chief of Staff [Mark Meadows] about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News,” Trump asserted . “Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us.” He added, “Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump administration.” Even Leftmedia outlet NPR begrudgingly admitted back in 2018 that Trump’s regular claim “might sound like hyperbole, but in this case, there’s actually some basis for the president’s boast.”

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who left the position last month, similarly denied any knowledge of the allegations and blasted the report as a political hit job. “I never heard this. And it’s disgusting how you continue to politicize intelligence,” Grenell stated in a pointed response to Democrat California Congressman Ted Lieu, who asked him to confirm the Times’s allegations. “You clearly don’t understand how raw intel gets verified,” Grenell added. “Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predictably sought to resurrect the Democrats’ tired and thoroughly debunked collusion narrative by suggesting that Trump is lying. “This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score [and] denies being briefed,” Pelosi huffed. “Some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan have been briefed and accept this report. Just as I have said to the president, with him, all roads lead to Putin.”

The problem for Pelosi and her fellow Democrats is that their loudly voiced assertions have no factual support.

Even former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is currently in a bitter feud with the president, refused to push the Times story. Bolton rejected NBC blowhard Chuck Todd’s suggestion that Trump’s lack of response was because he was “afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election.” Bolton retorted, “Honestly, I don’t think there’s evidence for that, and I think it’s a mistake … to say the Russia-collusion theory was true, which some opponents of Trump still can’t let go of.”

While this is still a developing story, it’s clear that the sole objective is to rekindle the debunked conspiracy theory of Trump being a Russian stooge. In truth, Putin would love nothing more than to see President Trump replaced by an easily manipulated Joe Biden.

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