WASHINGTON, June 30. /TASS/. US media leaks about Russia’s alleged attempts to offer militants of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) a bounty for killing US soldiers in Afghanistan undermine the work of US special services and put US servicemen at risk, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said.
"The selective leaking of any classified information disrupts the vital interagency work to collect, assess and mitigate threats and places our forces at risk," he said in a statement.
According to Ratcliffe, his office is "still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting."
"Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to those allegations," he added.
On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blasted reports that Russia allegedly offered Afghan militants bounties for killing US military personnel as lies and an elaborate hoax. "These claims are nothing but lies," the Kremlin spokesman said, commenting on the publication of The New York Times. "Once again, we can only express regret that once largest, reputable and high-quality world media outlets have been increasingly more often publishing elaborate hoaxes in the last few years, which definitely does not bode well with keeping up with their reputation and prestige," Peskov said. "If intelligence services continue to be accountable before the president in the US, then I suggest you focus on the relevant statement of President Trump who already evaluated these publications," he added.
On Sunday, US President Donald Trump said the US intelligence did not find this information credible, slamming The New York Times report as "possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News" meant to tarnish the Republicans’ reputation.