Congressional Leaders Demand Answers on Russian Connection to Taliban

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President Donald Trump is facing pressure from Congress to disclose more information on a breaking controversy. Reporting from the Washington Post on Sunday suggested American intelligence is aware of a bounty program enacted by Russia. The program was allegedly an agreement between GRU forces and the Taliban.

Special Forces
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According to Washington Post reporting, the program involved bounties to be paid out to militants if they killed US soldiers. The program included bounties on any coalition soldiers, according to the report. Allegedly, this intelligence was passed along to the White House by Spec Ops forces in Afghanistan. The report holds that Spec Ops forces obtained the intelligence while interrogating captured militants.

Congressional Leaders Want Answers

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has sent a letter to US intelligence officials demanding that Congress get a briefing on the matter. In it, she calls for the public to find out when Trump was made aware of the deal, and how much he knew about it. This story has shined new light on Trump’s well-known relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

During the 2016 election, the Trump campaign was accused of soliciting Russia to help interfere in the electoral process. A lengthy report was filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller documenting the link between Russia and the Trump campaign. In the end, Mueller found he could not say that Trump was not guilty of conspiring with Russia. Mueller’s report suggested Russian nationals hacked into DNC servers in order to disrupt the election.

Hackers using methods that could be bested by an enterprise-level password manager are now a distant memory. Some lawmakers are now concerned that Trump may have known about a bounty program targeting US soldiers. They are now asking how soon Trump knew about this, and why the story wasn’t made public sooner.

White House Stance

Trump has maintained since the weekend that the reports are unconfirmed. He tweeted that intelligence officials now believe the reports of a bounty program to be unreliable. Further, the White House is currently holding that they don’t believe any soldiers died as a result of such a program. Further, the White House holds that neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were aware of the reports.

Trump contradicted reporting from both the Washington Post and the New York Times. In those reports, the publications allege that Trump became aware of the program in a late-March briefing. This story is breaking, and many details are currently hazy. However, Congressional leaders are now demanding answers.