There is “no consensus” within the intelligence community regarding the reported Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan, White House press secretary said Monday.
“There is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations. And in a fact, there are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported, and the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated,” Kayleigh McEnany told a press conference.
McEnany reiterated that neither President Donald Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence was briefed on the alleged rewards by Russia.
Asked about who told Trump the Russian bounty information “is not credible,” referring to Trump’s late Sunday tweet in which he said that intelligence reported to him, McEnany said she cannot give further details on the matter.
In a pair of tweets, Trump said Sunday neither Pence nor Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, have been told “about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an ‘anonymous source’ by the Fake News @nytimes.”
His denial came two days after The New York Times reported that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces, including American troops in Afghanistan.
The Times said Trump and the White House National Security Council gathered in late March to discuss the matter and weighed several responses, including a diplomatic complaint to Moscow demanding an end to the practice and escalating a series of sanctions.
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