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The Defense Department said late Monday that there is “no corroborating evidence” to support the explosive New York Times report last week that said the Russian military offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The report sent shock waves through Washington and prompted President Trump to outright deny knowing anything about the intel cited in the report.
The article goes on to state the following:
“To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports. Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan—and around the world—most seriously and therefore continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats,” Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Ratcliffe also released a blistering statement, slamming anyone who may have leaked classified information. Ratcliffe’s statement reads:
“U.S. and coalition force protection is a critical priority for both the President and the Intelligence Community. The selective leaking of any classified information disrupts the vital interagency work to collect, assess and mitigate threats and places our forces at risk. It is also, simply put, a crime.
“We are still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting and we will brief the President and Congressional leaders at the appropriate time. This is the analytic process working the way it should. Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to these allegations.”
DNI Ratcliffe issues statement on impact of unauthorized disclosures on force protection pic.twitter.com/Pr7PbWk443
— Office of the DNI (@ODNIgov) June 30, 2020
— NSC (@WHNSC) June 30, 2020
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