Trump blames Russian bounty allegations on fake news
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 01 July 2020 1:19 PM
US President Donald Trump has blamed the "fake news" for the allegations about suspected Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan, calling 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," Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
"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!" he added.
The comments by Trump came after senior Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff said on Tuesday that Washington should weigh new sanctions on Russia in response to Russia's actions.
Schiff, who is also the chairman of the House Intelligence committee, asked Trump not to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the upcoming G7 summit of leading industrial nations.
"The president of the United States should not be inviting Russia into the G7 or G8. We should be considering what sanctions are appropriate to further deter Russia's malign activities," he told reporters after the White House briefing on the matter.
Over the past week, the Trump administration faced yet another challenge after The New York Times reported on Friday that a Russian military intelligence unit had offered Taliban-linked militants bounties to carry out a series of attacks against coalition forces, including American troops, in Afghanistan.
The bombshell report, which was soon "confirmed" by some other newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, further claimed that US intelligence officials had also reached the conclusion about the clandestine payments and then briefed President Donald Trump in March.
However, Trump on Sunday tweeted that "nobody" had ever briefed him about such a report.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also lambasted the report on Monday as a bunch of "lies," stressing that media outlets should take heed of Trump's comments and also said that the US president and his Russian counterpart had never discussed the allegations.
Furthermore, Russia's top Afghanistan diplomat denounced the Times story as "fake news," whose aim is to target the Trump administration and his attempts to pull American troops out of Afghanistan.
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