Washington: Censuring the New York Times source based story claiming that Russia paid bounties to Taliban to fight US forces in Afghanistan, Congressman Jim Banks has said that Americans “didn’t buy the phony Russia-Trump collusion.”
In a twitter thread late Monday, Banks wrote: “No President in my lifetime has been tougher on Russia than @realDonaldTrump.”
“Americans don’t buy the phony Russia-Trump-Collusion narrative. THEY SEE President Trump’s rock solid record in support of our troops, our veterans & American exceptionalism. THEY SEE the media walk back claims of a Trump-Russia scandal over & over. So tired. Change it up!” he tweeted.
“I just left the White House where I was briefed by CoS @MarkMeadows and top intelligence officials. They discussed @nytimes ‘ hit piece falsely accusing @realDonaldTrump of ignoring reports that Russia placed bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan
“The real scandal: We’ll likely never know the truth… Because the @nytimes used unconfirmed intel in an ONGOING investigation into targeted killing of American soldiers in order to smear the President. The blood is on their hands.”
“Having served in Afghanistan during the time the alleged bounties were placed, no one is angrier about this than me. Now it’s impossible to finish the investigation. All b/c the @nytimes will do anything to damage @realdonaldtrump, even if it means compromising nat’l security.”
“Sad, but many in the media & Congress rushed to judgement before learning the whole story. We should treat anonymously sourced @nytimes stories about Russia w/ skepticism. Here’s a fact: No President in my lifetime has been tougher on Russia than @realDonaldTrump,” read the string of tweets by Banks.
US president Donald Trump retweeted the entire thread on his official handle.
Earlier, on Monday, Trump has said intelligence about a Russian plot to offer bounties to Taliban militants in exchange for fatal attacks on US troops in Afghanistan was not “credible” and was therefore not reported to him.
Trump gave the explanation in a tweet on Sunday night, and dismissed the widely reported allegations as “possibly another fabricated Russia hoax”.
Trump has come under pressure to explain why he had not heard about the Russia offer even though US security officials have been weighing a response to the plot since at least March.
Top administration officials, including members of Trump’s national security council, have been discussing the Russian bounty offer for months, the New York Times first reported.
Earlier on Sunday, Trump claimed never to have heard about the Russian offer – and he questioned whether such an offer had been made.