Trump has claimed that he has not discussed the Russian bounties with Putin because he believes the intelligence reports are a hoax.
“That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.”Trump explains why he didn’t talk about the bounties
Its been several weeks since we learned that Putin put bounties on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Somehow, Trump hasn’t had to answer for why he hasn’t done anything about it, and Republicans do not seem to care. If Republicans don’t care, why should Trump?
When the news broke, Trump claimed he hadn’t been briefed on the matter. Then it turned out that Trump was briefed, but that he dismissed all bad news that concerned Russia. The exact description was that Trump “flew into a rage” whenever the intelligence officials brought him warnings on Russia. It was so bad they just stopped verbal briefings.
“The president has created an environment that dissuades, if not prohibits, the mentioning of any intelligence that isn’t favorable to Russia,”Former National Security staffer
Clearly, that excuse wasn’t going to fly, so more excuses emerged.
Trump surrogates and various right wing pundits made the claim that the intelligence reports were not credible. Then we learned that the reports were credible. Now, it seems, the official story has become that it is all fake news.
A lingering problem remains for Trump, however, as there is a financial trail to follow and that trail is a direct path from the Russian military intelligence agency to the Taliban’s bank account. It’s like they didn’t even try to hide it.
Plus, the original lead was obtained after several detainees were ‘interrogated’ and provided information about the bounties. It is unknown how much waterboarding it took for the detainees to offer up this information, but the new leads panned out and proved the detainees were telling the truth. All of this information was provided to Trump in a written brief.
The detainees told the interrogators everything:
Rahmatullah Azizi stands as a central piece of a puzzle rocking Washington, named in American intelligence reports and confirmed by Afghan officials as a key middleman who for years handed out money from a Russian military intelligence unit to reward Taliban-linked fighters for targeting American troops in Afghanistan, according to American and Afghan officials.NYTimes
Afghanistan, apparently, agree that the bounties were real.
Afghan officials said prizes of as much as $100,000 per killed soldier were offered for American and coalition targets.NYTimes
So why is Trump and his Administration trying to convince everyone that it is all a hoax? It is likely this goes much deeper than Trump deflecting blame for being too lazy to read intelligence briefings. It must even be deeper than Trump’s sycophantic worship of Putin, as unsavory as that reality is.
Trump could have done his election campaign a huge favor if he had a show of rebuking Putin for the bounties. Instead, Trump continues to fulfill the items on Putin’s agenda. Trump is afraid of Putin, plain and simple.