U.S. Intel Walks Back Bombshell Claim Russia Paid Taliban Bounties on U.S. Troops

U.S. Intel Walks Back Bombshell Claim Russia Paid Taliban Bounties on U.S. Troops
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As Donald Trump started making plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the New York Times reported a bombshell claim: that Russia secretly offered the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops, according to “American intelligence officials.”

It immediately struck many as implausible – why in the world would jihadists suddenly need a financial incentive to target U.S. troops, which they’ve already been doing in Afghanistan for the past two decades? And what was Russia’s end goal? Donald Trump immediately called the story a “hoax,” and said he was never briefed on these claims.

Two months after the Times report, a top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said he hadn’t seen any evidence for the claim that Russians put bounties on U.S. troops.

If the story were baseless propaganda like Trump immediately said it was, it would serve two obvious purposes; to delay the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and to escalate tensions with Russia.

Now that Joe Biden is in office, and is following through with Trump’s plan to withdraw all the troops there, that story is suddenly being refuted in what must be the most convenient timing ever. The swamp would do everything they can to thwart any Trump imitative – only to allow Biden to then follow through with the same simply because he’s not Trump.

According to The Daily Beast:

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

“The United States intelligence community assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019 and perhaps earlier,” a senior administration official said.

“This information puts a burden on the Russian government to explain its actions and take steps to address this disturbing pattern of behavior,” the official said, indicating that Biden is unprepared to walk the story back fully.

Many couldn’t help but notice the timing.

Biden announced new sanctions against Russia today, but they’re related to Russia’s cyberattacks, actions in Crimea, and alleged election interference.

Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New YorkDebunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate


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