Democrats & Republicans Unite To Calls For Action Against Russia Over Unverified ‘Bounty’ Report

While Democrats and Republicans are uniting to call for action against Russia over anonymous claims from an unverified report, they had nothing to say about the devastating corruption documented by named sources in the Afghanistan Papers…

Days after an article from the New York Times alleged that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers, there is now a fallout over what the Intelligence Community knew, as top lawmakers call for action, and President Trump calls the entire story a HOAX.

The director of the CIA released a vague statement in which she said US forces on the ground are always under threat, and intelligence reports are constantly being gathered. 

But a recent report cites an anonymous official from the NSA, who claimed that while intelligence on this subject was received, it only reached “low levels” of the community and never moved up because they determined it was “uncorroborated.” The officials said the NSA assessed the claims, but found tat they did not match up with established and verifiable Taliban and Haqqani practices. 

The New York Times has since doubled down, arguing that there was proof of financial transfers from the Russian military to the Taliban. Moscow has denied any involvement any involvement from the state.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo actually addressed this earlier today, and he said money has been flowing to all sides in Afghanistan from a number of countries. As a reminder, the US has spent more than $2 trillion dollars on the War in Afghanistan, and the Afghanistan Papers released last year revealed that billions were sent to the enemies the US claimed to be fighting with no oversight. 

Top Democrats in the House and Senate have been quick to be use this report as another way to try to tie President Trump to Russia without looking at the evidence. 

Rep. Adam Schiff said, “We should be considering what sanctions are appropriate to further deter Russia’s malign activities, not further ingratiating Russia into the community of civilized nations.” 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Above all, go after Putin. This president has been played like a fool by President Putin. Every time they negotiate, Putin wins and he loses. He’s afraid to talk to Putin. One can wonder why.” 

But at the same time, top Republicans in the House and Senate also seem to have no doubt that the reports are accurate, based on the fact that they include Russia. 

Senate Majority LeaderMitch McConnell said, “I can’t verify the current rumors that all of you are writing about. But would I be surprised if the Russians were doing something like this? Absolutely not.” 

Rep. Liz Cheney said, “We remain concerned about Russian activities in Afghanistan and around the world. We’re going to continue to work with the administration. We anticipate additional briefings on this issue.” 

So, instead of talking about whether what the New York Times reported as fact was actually credible, the conversation has shifted to what the Trump Administration should have done differently after it was briefed on information that has been called “unverifiable.”

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Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

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