This is a fine kettle of fish we’re in, when a group of the world’s most heinous, murdering thugs are admitting the truth about the Russian bounties, while the White House lies through their teeth to us. Bookmark this story, because it is a new low in American history — and just another day in Trump world. Business Insider is reporting that it spoke with three sources, two active in the Taliban and one a refugee in Greece, who used to be Taliban. All three sources confirmed the New York Times bombshell of last Friday, which Donald Trump is calling a “hoax.”
Taliban commanders have confirmed that Russia has offered financial and material support to its members in exchange for attacking US forces in Afghanistan. […]
President Donald Trump has since strongly denied that he was told of this intelligence and attacked its credibility, characterizing the existence of Russian bounty payments as fake.
But three separate Taliban sources told Insider they were aware of Russian bounty payments being made — though they said only the less-disciplined elements on the fringes of the group would take up such an offer.
The Greek refugee said, “The Taliban is like my fist — the center of the fist is hard and disciplined; everyone gets salaries and weapons from the Quetta Shura and they obey orders.” Quetta Shurra is the Taliban leadership council, thought to be based in Pakistan.
“But around this fist there are a lot of groups and commanders that are with the Taliban but not controlled by the Taliban,” he added. “These are the people who will do anything for money, and Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and other countries will hire them for operations.”
Mercenaries are nothing new under the sun. And mercenaries paid by Russia are absolutely nothing new.
Moulani Baghdadi, a current Taliban commander from Ghazni province, provided Insider a statement via a family member.
He said Russian influence inside the Taliban itself was impossible but that there were many affiliated groups that have maintained ties with Russia.
“In the last five years the Islamic Emirate has greatly expanded in Kunduz and Mazar because individual commanders have been receiving money and weapons from Russian intelligence,” he said. “These are criminal groups that work alongside the Mujahideen and give us a bad reputation with many people because they sell drugs and commit crimes and work with [foreigners].”
But Donald Trump would have you believe that Vladimir Putin not only did not interfere in the 2016 election, against all information to the contrary from the American intelligence community, he would have you believe that Russia is not paying bounty hunters, either — or if they are, he doesn’t know a thing about it. And now you have it from the horse’s mouth. And Kayleigh McEnany would have you believe that the New York Times bombshell is all unverified innuendo. Maybe she’ll consider this verification.
And then there’s the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, a good little Trump toady, plus the former acting Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense, who have all offered denials of varying degrees, as to whether Trump was briefed, or whether the bounties happened at all. And supposedly Gina Haspel, the CIA Director, is part of this group as well.
It will be interesting to see where this story goes from here. At this point it looks like the entire world knows about this, except for Donald Trump. And everybody takes this seriously, except for Trump, who calls it a “hoax.”
The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party. The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself. If the discredited @nytimes has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
The Moron in Chief strikes again.