WASHINGTON — A top US general in the Middle East has cast doubt on the Russia-Taliban bounty story, saying the intelligence is “worrisome” and he doesn’t believe it has lead to the death of any US troops.
“I found it very worrisome, I just didn’t find that there was a causative link there,” General Kenneth McKenzie, the chief of US Central Command, tole reporters Tuesday, according to an ABC News report.
“The intel case wasn’t proved to me. It wasn’t proved enough that I’d take it to a court of law, and you know that’s often true in battlefield intelligence,” he continued.
“You see a lot of indicators, many of them are troubling many of them you act on, but in this case there just there wasn’t enough there,” McKenzie said.
“I sent the intelligence guys back to continue to dig on it, and I believe they’re continuing to dig right now, but I just didn’t see enough there to tell me that the circuit was closed in that regard,” he added.
Members of the Trump administration and the intelligence community have sought to downplay the claims published in a controversial New York Times report that said the Kremlin paid Taliban militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan.
President Trump described it as a “hoax” to make him look bad, while National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien maintained that the classified intelligence was never deemed credible.
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