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.
“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.
The New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported Friday that it is believed that some “Islamist militants” or “criminal elements” collected payouts. The report pointed out that 20 Americans were killed there in 2019. It was not clear if any of those deaths were the result of a bounty.
Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser, said in a statement that since the allegations in the report were not verified by the intelligence community, Trump has not been briefed on the matter.
“Nevertheless, the administration, including the National