US

GOP Senator Alleges ‘Taliban Bounties’ Report Was ‘Selectively Leaked’ to Harm Trump, Boost Biden

The Biden administration earlier admitted that the US intelligence community had only “low to moderate” confidence in the report about the alleged bounties Russia purportedly paid to the Taliban* for killing American soldiers. The bombshell report was used by Democrats and Biden in 2020 to discredit then-POTUS Trump.

Republican Senator from Arkansas Tom Cotton has alleged that someone “selectively leaked” the classified report about the so-called “Taliban* bounties” to the media in 2020 in order to help Joe Biden get elected. Cotton suggested that it could have been someone in the government who “didn’t like then-POTUS Donald Trump”.

The senator further said the government must undertake additional efforts to prevent such leaks in the future, calling them a “very dangerous thing to get into”. He namely suggested tightening the law to make sure a person leaking a classified document is punished. Cotton stressed, however, that the government should ease its classification requirements, arguing that currently the US has an “over-classification problem”.

Joe Biden Apology Needed

In his interview with Fox News, Senator Cotton also called on President Joe Biden and other Democrats to issue an apology to ex-President Donald Trump for relentlessly attacking him for not confronting Russia in light of the bombshell “Taliban bounties” report. While Trump downplayed the reliability of the report about Russia allegedly paying the radical wing of the organisation for killing the US soldiers, Democrats accused the then-POTUS of “treason” for not avenging the American servicemen purportedly slain because of the bounties in Afghanistan.

This week, however, the new administration of Joe Biden, who also repeatedly attacked Trump on the issue, admitted that the US intelligence community evaluates the credibility of the “Taliban bounties” report as “low to moderate”. Senator Cotton, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, says this evaluation equals pretty low confidence on the intelligence community’s scale. Despite this, the White House press secretary said the Biden administration is not planning to apologise to Trump for “slandering” him in 2020 for not acting against Russia.

“Joe Biden used that line of attack multiple times in the campaign to include in the presidential debate. […] I sit on the Intelligence Committee. I reviewed [the report] carefully, and again, I could not see where these reports in the media were coming from. So Joe Biden really owes Donald Trump an apology, as does Kamala Harris and every other Democrat that attacked him on the basis of unsubstantiated media reports”, Cotton said.

In 2020, the head of the Pentagon and chief of staff both said they saw no indications that the “Taliban bounties” existed or somehow affected American casualties in Afghanistan. Furthermore, both Moscow and the Taliban strongly denied the allegation, which, as it turned out, stemmed from an account by a “detainee” that the American intelligence community could not properly verify due to the “challenging operating environment in Afghanistan”.

*Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

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