On Friday, The New York Times ran an article claiming that Trump had received an intelligence report suggesting that Russia solicited the attack on US soldiers in Afghanistan by paying a bounty to the Taliban.
US President Donald Trump has lambasted the story by the New York Times suggesting that he was informed about Russia’s purported involvement in an attack on US troops in Afghanistan. In a tweet, the president stressed that no one in his administration had ever received such reports.
…Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine – Where’s Hunter? Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their “source”?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2020
Soon after Trump’s response to the claims presented in the article, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told ABC that the president’s reaction indicates that he wants to “ignore any allegation against Russia”.
The story, released by The New York Times on Friday, claims that Russia paid armed Islamic insurgents from the Taliban to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan. The newspaper reported citing an unidentified source that the US president was aware of the development but failed to take action.
Response to Allegations
The Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected claims of involvement in any attacks saying that the story was “fake news” aimed to disrupt the Afghan peace process. The ministry explained that the US intelligence community is opposing the peace efforts as it is unwilling to lose sources of illegal income, such as drug trafficking and kickbacks on military contracts.
The Taliban also brushed off the allegations, saying that the rumors were set to create obstacles to the US pullout from the country. The organisation added that it was committed to the deal with the United Stated, saying that its implementation would ensure comprehensive peace and stability in Afghanistan.
In February, the US and the Taliban signed a peace deal that concluded rounds upon rounds of talks pursuing to launch the reconciliation process in Afghanistan after almost two decades of armed conflict and insurgency.
Last week, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said that intra-Afghan talks were closer than ever after Kabul and the Taliban carried out a significant exchange of prisoners.
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