Two senior administration officials told Axios that the intelligence was included with President Trump’s briefing on Dec. 17 and Trump was verbally briefed on the matter by national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
Administration officials from multiple agencies are attempting to corroborate the information. If the intelligence is confirmed, tensions between China and the US could escalate. However, if the intelligence is confirmed untrue, questions will be raised about the motive behind the sources who reported it.
Andrew Small, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund who specializes in China-Afghanistan affairs, told Axios that it seems “incongruous” that China would take such an action.
Small said that pursuing peace in Afghanistan is “one of the extremely rare areas where the US and China still have a willingness to work together on an area of importance.”
“They know the drawdown is taking place. We’re not in the context where anything else needs to happen to US troops in Afghanistan. There is no reason to create additional pressure on US forces,” Small added.
This report comes months after uncorroborated intelligence came out that Russia had offered bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump received criticism earlier this year when he admitted he had not confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about the unconfirmed intelligence reports that Russia had been offering bribes to the Taliban to kill American soldiers.
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Husband of Biden’s Commerce Secretary is Top Executive at Firm Funded by Chinese Government
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has a conflict of interest. She must work with her agency to combat and counter China on the world stage, all while supporting her husband’s position as a top executive for an artificial intelligence company whose major venture capital firm investor Is backed by the Chinese government.
Danhua Capital is based in California and is financially backed by the Chinese Communist Party. They are also one of the main funders of PathAI, an artificial intelligence firm that employs Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit. Moffit acts as the chief people officer.
The Chinese firm lists PathAI as one of its featured “biotech and health” investments on its website, although it’s unclear how much specifically Danhua Capital has invested. According to a 2018 Reuters report on the firm, Danhua Capital was established and funded as part of the Chinese government’s “penetration of Silicon Valley.”
In 2018, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) testified before Congress that Danhua Capital’s mission is to use capital to narrow the technology gap between China and the United States. The Washington Free Beacon reports that many staffers from CNAS, a liberal think tank, are now employed in the highest ranks of the Biden administration.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Raimondo’s agency was pushing back on efforts by others in the Biden administration to block Chinese technology firms from working with American companies. Commerce officials are arguing internally, according to the report, that the administration’s tougher approach to China would hurt U.S. companies.
Raimondo said on Thursday she would not urge U.S. companies to pull sponsorships from the upcoming Beijing Olympics after President Joe Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the games over human rights abuses. “What individual companies do is entirely up to them,” Raimondo said. “We’re not going to pressure them one way or another.”
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