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White House was warned about potential Russian bounties for killing US troops in early 2019

June 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, a US military Chinook helicopter lands on a field outside the governor's palace during a visit by the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, and Asadullah Khalid, acting minister of defense of Afghanistan, in Maidan Shar, capital of Wardak province. - A skinny tangle of razor wire snakes across the entrance to the Afghan army checkpoint, the only obvious barrier separating the soldiers inside from any Taliban fighters that might be nearby. (Photo by THOMAS WATKINS / AFP) / To go with 'AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT-MILITARY-US,FOCUS' by Thomas WATKINS (Photo credit should read THOMAS WATKINS/AFP/Getty Images)

The White House was provided with intelligence in early 2019 indicating Russian actors were offering bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, more than a year before President Donald Trump claimed he was not briefed on the same threat, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Washington (CNN)The White House was provided with intelligence in early 2019 indicating Russian actors were offering bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, more than a year before President Donald Trump claimed he was not briefed on the same threat, according to a source familiar with the situation.

But a US official familiar with the latest information told CNN on Monday that intelligence about the Russian bounties was included in the President's Daily Briefing (PDB) sometime in the spring of this year.

The reports were passed to top officials at the National Security Council, including former national security adviser John Bolton, who would have ultimately decided whether or not to brief the President on the matter, the source said, adding that they did not know whether he had chosen to do so.

The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Monday called the reports of Russian intelligence officers offering money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as a reward for killing US or UK troops "a hoax" and "a lie," in the Kremlin's first statements following the growing furor in Washington over the matter.

GOP lawmakers who were briefed on the intelligence Monday at the White House were told that the intelligence in question was from this year, according to a congressional aide, who also made clear that members had not independently verified that claim and it was simply what the administration had told them.

A group of House Democrats were briefed on Afghanistan intelligence on Tuesday but Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said administration officials did not provide any new information, saying it was essentially "White House personnel telling us their perspective. "

It also includes a request for members of Trump's Cabinet to appear before the Senate in coming days to shed light on their knowledge of the reported Russian bounties and answer questions about the "resulting measures" undertaken by State Department and Department of Defense in light of this intelligence.

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