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Pentagon Refutes Claims Regarding Russian Bounties Paid to Taliban

The entire scandal just got far more complicated.

A Moscow-sized maelstrom of controversy has arrived in Washington DC this week, as lawmakers demand answers from the Trump administration about a possible bounty scandal involving the Kremlin, the Taliban, and dead Americans in Afghanistan.

The initial reports were damning:  The White House had allegedly been informed that Vladimir Putin’s government was paying the Taliban a bounty for every American that they killed in Afghanistan.  Worse still, there had been no public reprimanding of the Russians on account of the scandal, which then reignited the fears of the left’s “RussiaGate” conspiracy theory.

Now the Pentagon is weighing in, stating that the entire bounty scandal is still uncorroborated.

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“The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports,” said Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

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“Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan – and around the world – most seriously and therefore continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats,” Hoffman added.

The statement came in response to a New York Times report that claimed that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The Times cited anonymous officials “briefed on the matter.”

The news comes just hours after the Associated Press reported that the White House had been made aware of the bounty situation all the way back in early 2019, which contradicts the information provided by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

 

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