News | Trump Denies Being Told About Russian Bounties To Kill U.S. Troops In Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Sunday he has never briefed about the reported Russian efforts to pay bounties to Taliban – linked militants to pay bounties to Taliban – linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, blasting a New York Times report on the bounties.

‘Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan By Russians’, Trump tweeted, calling on the newspaper to name its anonymous sources. ‘Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us’.

In a separate tweet late on Sunday, Trump added: ‘Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP’.

The Times reported on Friday that U.S. intelligence had concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit linked to assassination  attempts in Europe had offered rewards for successful attacks last year on American and coalition soldiers, and that Islamist militants were believed to have collected some bounty money.

The White House and Director of National Intelligence on Saturday denied the reported. Russia’s foreign ministry also dismissed it.

On Sunday, the newspaper published an additional report saying U.S. intelligence and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted superiors as early as January to the suspected Russian plot to pay bounties, citing officials briefed on the matter.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, part of the so-called Gang of Eight lawmakers who receive frequent intelligence briefings, said she was not aware of the assessment and called for Congress to be briefed.

Pelosi cited the New York Times’ reporting and Trump’s denial as more evidence of the president ignoring allegations against Russia to accommodate President Vladimir Putin.

‘There is something very wrong here. But this must have an answer’, she said on ABC News, adding that Trump has already supported Putin by diminishing U.S. leadership in NATO, reducing U.S. forces in Germany and inviting Russia back into the G8.

Pelosi and House Intelligence chairman Adam Schieff also questioned why, if Trump’s claims were true, he was not told about the bounty offer.

‘If he was briefed and still wanted Russia back in the G8, it’s even worse’, Schiff tweeted.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer urged tough sanctions against Russia in the defense bill that the Senate will debate this week.

‘There’s obviously more to this story, but it is pretty remarkable the president’s going out of his way to say he hasn’t heard anything about it’. Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton told NBC News.

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An explosion damaged a Greek-managed tanker at a Saudi Arabian terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border, the ship’s manager said on Wednesday, in an attack confirmed by Saudi Arabia. In a statement published by state media, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said a commercial vessel suffered minor  … Continue reading BUSINESS | Oil Tanker Hit By Blast At Saudi Terminal, Saudi Arabia Confirms

TRAVEL | UAE Halts New Visas To Citizens Of 13 Mostly Muslim States

The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim – majority countries, including Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park. A source briefed on the matter told Reuters that visas had temporarily stopped being issued to Afghan, Pakistan and citizens of … Continue reading TRAVEL | UAE Halts New Visas To Citizens Of 13 Mostly Muslim States

BREAKING NEWS | Putin Thanks Saudi King Salman Over Russia OPEC+ Role

Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for the ‘active and joint cooperation’ in OPEC+. Putin said Russia and Saudi Arabia are actively cooperating in the alliance of the world’s largest oil exporters to ensure the stability of global energy markets, Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. Putin’s remarks were made during … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Putin Thanks Saudi King Salman Over Russia OPEC+ Role

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