‘Russian Hoax’ Narrative Destroyed After Arrest Made In Putin Bounty Case

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Over the past week, an explosive story was released by The New York Times revealing that the Russian intelligence agency, GRU, offered Taliban fighters bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers. Even more explosive were the statements made by White House and intelligence officials who told The Times that Donald Trump had been briefed on the story, but did nothing about it.

Although Trump denies that the story is true or that the intelligence has been verified at all, a suspect is now in custody who served as a middleman between the GRU and Taliban soldiers, passing cash as bounties on U.S. soldiers. Rahmatullah Azizi, known for being a low-level drug dealer, suddenly began flashing a lot of cash that he earned mysteriously. When security agencies raided his home, they found over half a million dollars in cash. Afghan officials have confirmed that Azizi was operating as Russia’s go-between.

According to The New York Times:

‘Rahmatullah Azizi stands as a central piece of a puzzle rocking Washington, named in American intelligence reports and confirmed by Afghan officials as a key middleman who for years handed out money from a Russian military intelligence unit to reward Taliban-linked fighters for targeting American troops in Afghanistan, according to American and Afghan officials.’

Although he wouldn’t confirm nor deny that Trump had been briefed, and Trump says that he wasn’t because the information was never verified to a level that the president should have been briefed, Trump’s former national security advisor, John Bolton, says that he witnessed gross incompetence by the White House on policies involving Russia. He further implied that Trump is so lost when it comes to comprehending foreign policy that he often gets run over by dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bolton told Reuters that:

‘What we need is a more comprehensive strategy to deal with Russia. I think in (Russian President) Vladimir Putin and his government, you’ve got somebody playing a very weak hand very well. And I don’t really think we’re playing much of a hand at all.’

White House officials speaking on condition of anonymity have told reporters that Trump was briefed on the matter in March 2019, prior to his attempts to bring Russia back into the G7, despite the fact that they had been removed from the group over their annexation of Crimea. Officials say that Trump was not briefed orally, but that it was included in his written daily briefings, raising questions about whether Trump read then at all.

POLITICO writes that:

‘Top White House officials confirmed to lawmakers this week that the Russian bounty intelligence was included in Trump’s daily written brief in late February, Capitol Hill sources say — even though it had not yet been briefed to the president orally by that point.’

Featured image screenshot via YouTube