Trump denies being briefed on Russian 'bounty payments' to the Taliban

Russian intelligence officers offered cash rewards to Taliban fighters to kill US, UK troops in Afghanistan, source says

The militants also said homemade explosives account for most fatalities among USA forces.

Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate set to challenge Trump in the November 3 election, said during a virtual town hall on Saturday that the Times report, if true, represents a "truly shocking revelation", noting in particular Trump's reported failure to retaliate. The Trump administration is also looking at ways to broker peace between the US-backed government in Afghanistan and the Taliban, which has regained control over a large part of the country.

Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) said in a tweet it was "imperative" that Congress get to the bottom of the news reports.

According to the report, U.S. intelligence concluded that Russian Federation intervened in the 2016 presidential election in a bid to assist Trump, including through manipulation of social media.

The rewards purportedly gave incentives to the guerrillas to target USA forces, just as Trump tries to withdraw troops - meeting one of the militants' key demands - and end America's longest war.

CNN previously reported that Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed U.S. or United Kingdom troops there, according to that source.

"The New York Times reporting, and all other subsequent news reports about such an alleged briefing are inaccurate", Mr. Ratcliffe said.White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.

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"I really felt like I controlled the distance with my irons really well and hit tons of good shots", he said . Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week's RBC Heritage Championship.

"The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russian Federation", the newspaper reported.

The officials quoted by the New York Times said the White House's National Security Council had considered how to respond, including imposing an escalating raft of sanctions against Russian Federation.

Biden noted that Trump has, "failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russian Federation for this egregious violation of global law". But it reported that it was not clear whether any of the 20 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan past year are linked to the alleged payments.

Russian Federation called the report "nonsense". "This primitive informational dump clearly demonstrates low intellectual abilities of the propagandists at the American intelligence service", Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement cited by the RIA news agency.

The allegations come as the United States seeks to advance a nascent peace process in Afghanistan after signing a deal with the Taliban in February that could see US troops leave the country next year.

Russian Federation has yet to comment on the accusations but said Moscow would respond "if someone makes them", referring to Washington.

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