White House to brief Democrats on reports that Russia paid Taliban to kill US soldiers
WASHINGTON (US) – The White House sought to play down reports that Russia had paid the Taliban to finish off US troops, promising to brief Democrats on Tuesday after being blamed for sharing information only with Republicans.
Officials said there was no consensus on the underlying intelligence among US agencies and Trump had not been made aware of it.
But two Republican lawmakers said they remain concerned after hearing details from the White House at a meeting on Monday.
“We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces,” Representatives Mac Thornberry and Liz Cheney, who attended the meeting, said in a statement.
The New York Times and Washington Post broke the story, with the Post reporting on Sunday that several American soldiers were believed to have died as a result of the programme, which Moscow has denied.
Intelligence officials are still probing the matter, said John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence.
“Unfortunately, unauthorised disclosures now jeopardise our ability to ever find out the full story,” he said in a statement.
That didn’t appear to satisfy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said after speaking with Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel that “many serious questions remain.”
In a statement, the Pentagon said that it was continuing to evaluate intelligence.
“To date, (the Department of Defense) has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field