President Donald Trump acquired data earlier this month that China sought to pay non-state actors to assault American forces in Afghanistan, a senior administration official mentioned.
The intelligence, which will probably be declassified by the Trump administration, was supplied to the President in his each day temporary on December 17, the official mentioned. His nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien mentioned the data with the President that very same day, the official mentioned.
Information of the briefing and the administration’s intention to declassify the data was first reported on Wednesday by Axios.
Data of this alleged intelligence is up to now uncorroborated. The state of affairs is harking back to stories earlier this yr that Russia allegedly supplied Afghan militants bounties to kill US forces in Afghanistan. That data additionally appeared within the President’s intelligence briefing though it was later revealed that the data seemingly went unnoticed for weeks.
Trump has but to publicly name Russia out on the difficulty.
Whereas it is unclear whether or not President-elect Joe Biden has seen the intelligence, he would have had entry to the identical intelligence since he receives the President’s Day by day Temporary.
The White Home and the Biden transition workforce did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
CNN reported in June that Russian intelligence officers for the army intelligence company GRU had just lately supplied cash to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards in the event that they killed US or UK troops there, in keeping with a European intelligence official. The official informed CNN the incentives supplied by the Russians had, of their evaluation, led to coalition casualties, which might be service members’ deaths or accidents. The official didn’t specify as to the date of the casualties, their quantity or nationality, or whether or not these had been fatalities or accidents.
A US official with information of the matter confirmed to CNN on the time that there was intelligence indicating cash was transferred, however it’s not clear how verified the intelligence in query was or who precisely the representatives of this Russian unit approached — prime leaders or commanders of area models positioned to the coalition forces.
US intelligence had concluded months prior that Russian army intelligence supplied the bounties, amid peace talks, and Trump was briefed on the intelligence findings and the White Home’s Nationwide Safety Council held a gathering about it in late March, in keeping with the New York Occasions, citing officers briefed on the matter.
After the information broke in June, Trump denied receiving a briefing concerning the intelligence. He tweeted that “there haven’t been many assaults” on US troops by Taliban fighters as his proof that the reported intelligence could also be “phony” — a step additional than an earlier assertion from the White Home during which press secretary Kayleigh McEnany didn’t deny the validity of the report, however as an alternative mentioned Trump and Vice President Mike Pence weren’t briefed “on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.”
There was dialogue way back to February and March within the US intelligence neighborhood and among the many prime army commanders concerning the Russian operation to evaluate the intelligence and what precisely was occurring, a US official informed CNN in June. There have been some efforts at defending US forces due to the intelligence, the supply additionally mentioned.
It is a breaking story and will probably be up to date.