But, given the fact that all the stories cited unnamed intelligence, and portions of the intelligence agencies appear to still be consumed with never-Trump fervor, the whole thing seemed a little fishy, and indeed, evidence soon emerged to counter the claim. US News, Trump Denies Russia Bounty Claim as Bipartisan Outrage Grows on Capitol Hill
"Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP," Trump wrote in a late-night tweet on Sunday. He was referring to the story first reported in The New York Times on Friday and subsequently confirmed by other news organizations about the Russian scheme, including reports that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on it as early as March. Trump added in his tweet, "Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!"AP, GOP lawmakers urge action after Russia-Afghanistan briefing.
Eight Republican lawmakers attended a White House briefing Monday about explosive allegations that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan — intelligence the White House insisted the president himself had not been fully read in on.Fox, Pentagon says ‘no corroborating’ evidence to stand up NYT report on Russian bounties
Members of Congress in both parties called for additional information and consequences for Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and eight Democrats were to be briefed on the matter Tuesday morning. Still, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted Trump had not been briefed on the findings because they hadn’t been verified.
The White House seemed to be setting an unusually high bar for bringing the information to Trump, since it is rare for intelligence to be confirmed without a shadow of doubt before it is presented to senior government decision-makers. McEnany declined to say why a different standard of confidence in the intelligence applied to briefing lawmakers than bringing the information to the president.
Republicans who were in the briefing expressed alarm about Russia’s activities in Afghanistan.
“To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports. Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan—and around the world—most seriously and therefore continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats,” Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.'Tom Rogan at WaEx, The likely reason Trump wasn't briefed on Russia's Taliban plot
The New York Times correctly reported on Friday that U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia's GRU intelligence service paid the Taliban to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan. But even as he hasn't refuted the reporting, the director of national intelligence has confirmed the White House's statement that President Trump did not receive intelligence briefings on the matter.Monica Showalter at AmThink assembles at fine collection of evidence at Another Deep State hoax blown out of the water: Trump never briefed about Russian bounties —Herridge
A few things are going on here.
First, note that belief and some evidence do not alone make a presidential-level intelligence product. . . .
DEVELOPING: A senior intel official tells @CBSNews the GRU/Taliban bounty allegations were not contained in the President's Daily Brief (PDB) which is the highly classified, daily summary of national security issues delivered to the President, key cabinet secretaries + advisers..— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 28, 2020
Virginia Kruta at Da Caller, Herridge: Intel Official Says NSA Cannot Corroborate Russia, Taliban StoryDEVELOPING: A senior intel official tells @CBSNews the GRU/Taliban bounty allegations were not contained in the President's Daily Brief (PDB) which is the highly classified, daily summary of national security issues delivered to the President, key cabinet secretaries + advisers..— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 28, 2020
Ace, Surprise: Latest Deep State Leak Pushed by Leftwing Media Is Another Huge LieDEVELOPING: An intelligence official with direct knowledge tells CBS News there was an intel collection report and "NSA assesses Report does not match well established and verifiiable Taliban and Haqqani practices" + "lack sufficient reporting to corroborate any links."— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 29, 2020
There was never anything about Russians paying the Taliban bounties on American soldiers to report.At JOM, Tom Maguire offers a plausible theory at Hold The Fake News Presses!
This was low-level gossip (at best) that was never corroborated even in a small way.
Wait, what?!? The big NY Times scoop about Russian bounties to the Taliban for killing Americans was raw intel the credibility of which was still being assessed? Whoa, Fake News Watch!Whew, but a little of the old stuff keeps coming out. Monte Kuligowski at AmThink, Did Obama give a tell about Flynn investigation in his last press conference? Jed Babbin at AmSpec, It Was Obama All AlongWorse than Watergate: Part 3. Well, Obama, with his insiders in the intelligence community and the media.
Although, don't rule out this scenario - Faction A is convinced the intl is legitimate. Faction B is convinced that the US/Russian relationship is complicated, we have no good responses, we don't need this aggravation right now, and anyway like most intel, this report has holes.
The upshot: Faction B is slow-walking, foot-dragging, and basically hoping to bury this under unanswerable follow-up questions. A frustrated Faction A leaks the mess to the press. And here we are, lost in the fog.
It’s a great pity that you can’t impeach someone who is no longer in office, because Obama’s actions — clearly in violation of the law and of the constitutional rights of Flynn, Trump, Carter Page, and others — were entirely worthy of impeachment.Sundance at CTH sends along Sidney Powell Discusses In-Depth Background of Michael Flynn Case…., Long and nothing new, but well worth the listen:
And a little dirt on Hunter Biden from John Solomon at JTN, Air Biden: Secret Service provided security for Hunter Biden on 400-plus trips during Obama years. Of course they did, but Hunter could always reimburse the treasury with some of his Chinese billions.