White House denies President Trump briefed on Russia bounty intelligence

A file photo of US Marines in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province. (AFP)

The White House denied Saturday that President Donald Trump had been briefed on intelligence that reportedly showed Russia had offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants if they killed US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said “neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” which was first reported by The New York Times on Friday.

“This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of The New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter,” she added.

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On February 29, the United States and the Taliban struck a deal that called for a phased US troop withdrawal.

US troop strength in Afghanistan is down to nearly 8,600, well ahead of a schedule agreed with the Taliban, in part because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, US and NATO officials said in late May.

Last Update: Sunday, 28 June 2020 KSA 01:00 - GMT 22:00