WASHINGTON, June 30. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump was not informed about alleged Russian attempts to offer money to the Afghan militants to kill the US servicemen, because such reports were not confirmed by the US intelligence, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said in a written statement.
"Because the allegations in recent press articles have not been verified or substantiated by the intelligence community, President Trump had not been briefed on the items," O’Brien said, adding that the US Administration, including the National Security Council has "been preparing should the situation warrant action."
"To those government officials who betray the trust of the people of the United States by leaking classified information, your actions endanger our national security. No matter the motivation, there is never a justification for such conduct," the advisor said, underscoring that there is no matter more important for President Trump than the security of the US and the safety of the American servicemen.
He also noted that "while we [the White House] do not normally discuss such matters, we constantly evaluate intelligence reports and brief the president as necessary."
On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Hoffman claimed that the US Department of Defense has no facts to recognize the allegations against Russia as credible.
About the report
On June 26, The New York Times published an article, alleging that an unidentified division of the Russian military intelligence coerced Taliban militants to attack the servicemen of the international coalition in Afghanistan. The newspaper claimed that such conclusions of the US intelligence services were presented to US President Donald Trump several months ago, while the White House National Security Council discussed this issue in late March.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called these allegations a lie and a "total hoax." On June 27, the Russian Foreign Ministry labeled the initial publication on this issue as intentionally false.
According to the Ministry, "this uncomplicated fake news clearly illustrates low intellectual capabilities of the US intelligence propagandists, who have to come up with such nonsense instead of inventing something more credible."
On June 28, Trump tweeted that the US intelligence labelled the reports of the alleged Russian attempts to offer bounty to the Afghan militants for assassination of US servicemen as false. Trump speculated that The New York Times, who published the initial report, could have published "another fabricated Russia Hoax," in a bid to "make Republicans look bad."