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Trump denies being briefed on Russian bounty intelligence

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House on June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(CNN) — President Donald Trump on Sunday denied receiving a briefing about intelligence that Russians had tried to bribe Taliban fighters to kill US troops, as The New York Times first reported and CNN has confirmed.

Trump tweeted that “there have not been many attacks” on US troops by Taliban fighters as his evidence that the reported intelligence may be “phony.”

CNN previously reported that Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, according to that source.

Trump was briefed on the intelligence findings and the White House’s National Security Council held a meeting about it in late March, according to The New York Times, citing officials briefed on the matter.

Trump’s Sunday tweet went a step further than a Saturday statement from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in which she said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed “on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” but did not dispute the reported underlying intelligence.

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