Top Democrats pounced on President Trump Saturday following information broke Friday evening that Russian military intelligence agents secretly provided Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan bounties in trade for killing NATO and American troops stationed there.
The bombshell New York Periods report revealed President Trump and the Countrywide Security Council have been educated of the covert operations in late March, as the state was sinking into the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration has expended months deliberating how finest to answer, but has so far taken no action.
“President Trump was cozying up to Putin and inviting him to the G7 all whilst his Administration reportedly understood Russia was trying to get rid of US troops in Afghanistan and derail peace talks with the Taliban,” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine mentioned in a tweet.
In excess of on the house aspect, the Democratic controlled-Home Committee on Foreign Affairs issued a statement to their own Twitter account as very well, calling out Trump for different situations of earlier coziness with the state.
“Is there anything at all Trump will not do for Putin,” they questioned.
The Russian entity dependable for the bounties, regarded as Device 29155, is an arm of the country’s army intelligence company, the G.R.U., and has created a infamous standing for carrying out covert and extralegal actions on behalf of the state. The group was driving the hack of Democratic National Committee emails in the 2016 US presidential elections and the 2018 poisoning of ex-Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.
Reps for the Taliban denied the charges, contacting them “baseless.” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to answer.
It’s unclear why the G.R.U. was targeting US and coalition troopers. Some intelligence officials have speculated the country could be seeking to derail peace talks involving the US and Afghanistan, while many others consider the bounties may possibly have been available as revenge in opposition to a 2018 struggle in Syria which killed hundreds of govt-aligned forces and a quantity of Russian mercenaries.