WASHINGTON – Intelligence officials said a news report about Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan did not match “valid” Taliban operations and was never submitted to President Trump because it was not considered credible.
Catherine Herridge, senior investigative correspondent for CBS News, said the National Security Agency reviewed the claims in the New York Times report, but “it does not match the Taliban and Haqqani methods that are well established and verifiable.” Who tweeted She spoke to an intelligence officer with direct knowledge.
The intelligence report contained “insufficient reporting to verify any links,” and because there was so much disagreement over the allegations, the report only reached the “low level” of the White House’s National Security Council and was never flagged by President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
Herridge’s reporting cast doubt on the Times report, saying US officials briefed Trump in March on Russia’s plan to pay Taliban militants to kill American forces in Afghanistan in an attempt to deport them from the region.
White House press secretary Kylie McNaney denied the allegations Monday and never explained to the president that there were differences with intelligence sources.
A senior intelligence official confirmed that Russia’s Taliban counterpart had never been accused of the president’s daily briefing on over-classified security issues, Herridge wrote.