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Thomas Gallatin / September 18, 2020

Russian Bounty Story Was Fake News

The Leftmedia’s attempt to paint Trump as Putin’s puppet falls to pieces yet again.

Near the end of June, The New York Times ran a “bombshell” story claiming that Russia had secretly operated a bounty program, paying Taliban militants to target and assassinate American troops. Relying on “unnamed sources,” the Times alleged that the “credible” intelligence had been ignored by President Donald Trump because he’s buddy-buddy with Vladimir Putin.

Democrats quickly exploited the story, insisting that it proved their thoroughly debunked Russia-collusion hoax. Joe Biden treated the allegation as if it were factual, asserting during his Democratic National Convention speech that Trump had “turned a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers.” Failed Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry, who returned from Vietnam to grossly slander our troops and illegally negotiate with our enemies, claimed that “Trump pretends Russia didn’t attack our elections and now he does nothing about Russia putting a bounty on our troops.” Jack Weinstein, an Air Force veteran, said he was “shocked” because “the president didn’t even ask Vladimir Putin about it. That’s un-American.” Barack Obama’s former defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, called Trump’s inaction on the supposed intelligence “a dereliction of duty” and a failure to “the troops” and the nation.

However, as so often proves to be the case with these Leftmedia anti-Trump “bombshells,” this one turned out to be a dud. The fact of the matter is there is no consensus amongst U.S. intelligence that the Russian-bounty program ever existed. This reality was made clear by General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, who stated this week, “It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me. … We continue to look for that evidence. I just haven’t seen it yet.” Much like with the bogus Christopher Steele dossier, just because the charge has been made doesn’t make it true.

Nevertheless, the obvious narrative the Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts have been attempting to weave is that Trump has deliberately failed to protect America’s military personnel. They reinforced this false narrative with the bogus story of Trump refusing to visit a World War I cemetery in France in 2018.

The goal should be obvious: Democrats hope to dissuade U.S. military personnel and their families from voting for Trump in November.

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