The White House said this week it did not have sufficient evidence to support a report repeatedly mentioned by some Democrats, like Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who alleged that Russian agents had offered bounties to the Taliban to attack U.S troops in Afghanistan – and that President Donald Trump did nothing about it.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that after a review of classified reports, the intelligence community determined it had only “low to moderate confidence” in their authenticity. She said that was due in part to the ways in which the intelligence was obtained, including from interrogations of Afghan detainees.
The Trump White House was said to have been briefed on the reports of offered bounties.
Some Democrats used that information against the former president as evidence of his cozy relationship with Putin and framed it as a failure to protect U.S. troops.
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Duckworth, who is a combat veteran, tweeted dozens of times about the former president’s alleged unwillingness to confront Putin.
She also called for a hearing, introduced legislation, used the hashtag “#BountyGate” and gave a speech to fellow lawmakers.
A spokesperson for the senator did not return Fox News’ request for comment on the latest details about the report from the Biden White House.
There has always been doubt within the intelligence community about the report.
Then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Trump himself had not been briefed on the matter because the intelligence reports “have not been verified.” U.S. military commanders at the time also said the raw intelligence did not lead them to change their force protection posture in Afghanistan.
Trump tweeted over the summer that he had not been briefed because the information was not found credible, and floated the idea that it was a “hoax.”
In September, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News that the existence of bounties hadn’t not been proven “to a level” that satisfied him.
“We continue to look for that evidence,” the general told the outlet. “I just haven’t seen it yet. But … it’s not a closed issue.”
Defense officials have said they also did not believe the said bounties had led to any American deaths.
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Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, continued to harp on the issue regardless.
In March she pushed for information pertaining to the reports to be declassified, while claiming service members deserved to know if Trump “truly did nothing” if bounties were placed on the heads of military members.
She also praised President Biden for calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue “at first opportunity.”
Biden did raise the issue with Putin in January.
The White House said this week that there is evidence that Russia military intelligence interacts with individuals in Afghan criminal networks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.