The White Home stated Thursday that the intelligence neighborhood does not have definitive evidence that Russian intelligence operatives encouraged the Taliban to attack American soldiers in Afghanistan.
The assessment, revealed Thursday as the U.S. announced a host of brand-new sanctions on the Russian government, undermines one of the sharpest attacks Joe Biden and other Democrats leveled against previous President Donald Trump during the 2020 White House race.
Biden repeatedly attacked Trump on the project trail for not withstanding Russian President Vladimir Putin in spite of his administration understanding intelligence recommending Russian representatives were providing bounties to the Taliban.But on Thursday, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki said that after a review of those classified reports, the intelligence community determined it had only “low to moderate confidence” in their credibility. She said that was due in part to the methods which the intelligence was acquired, consisting of from interrogations of Afghan detainees.In June, The Associated Press reported that Trump White House officials were briefed on intelligence about potential bounties in 2019 and again in 2020. Then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien stated Trump himself had actually not been informed on the matter since the intelligence reports “have not been confirmed.” U.S. military commanders at the time also stated the raw intelligence did not lead them to change their force protection posture in Afghanistan.The intelligence assessments were first reported by The New york city Times and prompted prospect Biden to consistently charge that Trump had abandoned U.S. troops by not forcefully responding to the intelligence assessments.”His whole presidency has been a gift to Putin, however this is beyond the pale,” Biden stated of Trump last June, days after the reports initially appeared. “It’s a betrayal of the most sacred responsibility we bear as a country to secure and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way. It’s a betrayal of every single American family with a liked one serving in Afghanistan or anywhere overseas.”Biden raised the topic of the reported bounties on U.S. troops throughout his first call with Putin on Jan. 26, the White Home said at the time. No mention of the topic was revealed by the White Home after their newest contact Tuesday. Defense authorities and military commanders consistently said that the reports of bounties had actually not been corroborated by defense intelligence agencies and that they were not encouraged the reports were reputable. They likewise stated they didn’t think any bounties led to U.S. military deaths.The White Home stated Thursday’s sanctions remained in action to Russia’s interference in U.S. elections, crackdown on dissidents, cyberintrusions and its profession of Crimea – but not the reported “bounties” put on American soldiers.”The reason that they have low to moderate confidence in this judgment is in part because it relies on detainee reporting, and due to the challenging environment and also due to the difficult operating environment in Afghanistan,” Psaki said. “So it’s challenging to collect this intelligence and this data.”Psaki included that U.S. intelligence has proof that Russian military intelligence, referred to as the GRU, communicates with individuals in Afghan criminal networks.”This info actually puts the concern on Russia and the Russian government to explain their engagement here,” she said.