Trump says he wasn`t briefed on Russia-Taliban bounty intelligence

FILE- A Twitter app on an iPhone screen in New York Oct. 18 2018

Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, said earlier Sunday that the president should remove the video, adding that he did not want to "play politics" with what he described as the "indefensible" video.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Sunday that she's unclear as to what "the Russians have on" President Trump, but added that it must have swayed his administration not to take action after US intelligence learned that Moscow spies offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill USA troops. "Here's what Trump said 2 months after finding out Russian Federation was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops: 'We have this great friendship". She asked whether the information was in Trump's daily presidential briefing.

The White House, the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined requests from Reuters for comment on the Times report.

"The Democrats" presidential nominee criticises Trump after reports the United States president failed to act on intelligence briefings that Russian Federation was offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. troops.

Democrats, including Trump's likely challenger Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, cited the report and Trump's denial as more evidence of the president ignoring allegations against Russian Federation in a bid to accommodate President Vladimir Putin.

American intelligence officials concluded months ago that Russian officials offered rewards for successful attacks on American service-members past year, at a time when the US and Taliban were holding talks to end the long-running war, according to The New York Times.

The US president, or someone with access to his Twitter account, deleted the controversial tweet at 11am Eastern time, more than three hours after it was posted at 7.39am.

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The report says that the alleged bounties gave incentives to the insurgents to target U.S. forces.

The GRU unit allegedly involved has also been linked to the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England, in March 2018.

The G.R.U.is the same unit that US intelligence has implicated in efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, rejected the report that the insurgents have "any such relations with any intelligence agency" and called the newspaper report an attempt to defame them.

Russia on Saturday denounced the accusations, with the Russian embassy in Washington, DC calling them "baseless and anonymous".

Trump, in a Sunday morning tweet, said "Nobody briefed or told me" or Vice President Mike Pence or chief of staff Mark Meadows about "the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians". "What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?"

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