American officials intercepted electronic data to support reports that the Russians were paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops.
Three American officials familiar with the intelligence told the New York Times that they intercepted electronic data shows large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account.
Analyst concluded that these transfers were a part of the bounty program which detainees described during interrogations, and not part of Russia’s support for the Taliban.
These findings directly undercut White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s defense of Donald Trump. During Monday’s press briefing she said, the intel about Russians placing bounties on US troops in Afghanistan wasn’t “briefed up to the President because it was not, in fact verified.”
Also, the White House conveniently left out this bit of information while briefing House Republican on Monday. Sources at the meeting said they were trying to make the point that the intelligence on suspected Russian bounty plot was not clear cut. The White House also attempted to destroy the credibility of detainees by dismissing them as low-level.