WASHINGTON, June 28. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump was not briefed on the fact that Russia had allegedly offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill American troops, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Saturday.
The New York Times reported on Friday that an unidentified unit of the Russian military intelligence had secretly incited militants of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) to attack servicemen of the international coalition in Afghanistan. The intelligence finding was submitted to US President Donald Trump several months ago, according to the publication.
"The United States receives thousands of intelligence reports a day, and they are subject to strict scrutiny," McEnany said. "While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence," she added. "This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter," White House Press Secretary noted.
A representative of Russia’s Foreign Ministry told TASS earlier on Saturday that the New York Times publication was fabricated by the US intelligence agencies. "That unpretentious fake clearly demonstrates low intellectual abilities of US intelligence propagandists who have to invent such nonsense instead of devising something more credible," the ministry said. It also pointed to the US intelligence agencies’ involvement in Afghan drug trafficking. The ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban."
The Russian Embassy in Washington said on Friday that false publications by the US media about Russia and Afghanistan had already led to direct threats against Russian diplomats.