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McEnany Clarifies: Russia Bounty Reports Lack Consensus From Intel Community

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During her Monday afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked several times about the Russian bounty story and President Trump’s briefing on the matter.

The Press Secretary repeatedly said the President was not briefed on the story as intelligence agencies had not reached a consensus on the situation and there were some intelligence officials with dissenting opinions.

President Trump has since been briefed and some lawmakers from the Committees of Jurisdiction — a bipartisan group, McEnany noted — are meeting at the White House today to receive a briefing on the Russian bounty.

Reporters were referencing a story alleging Russia paid Taliban fighters to kill Western soldiers, including American forces.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277431695248183298?s=20

“The U.S. receives thousands of reports a day on intelligence and they are subject to strict scrutiny,” McEnany said. “There are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported.”

She noted that intelligence wouldn’t be “elevated” to the President until the validity of the information was verified.

“There is no stronger advocate for our servicemen and women than President Trump,” McEnany added. “When our adversaries have directly targeted U.S. or coalition partners, the President has not hesitated to act.”

McEnany refused to speculate on the validity of the story as there is still a lack of consensus. She did note, however, that the President has been strong with actions against Russia in the past.

“This President has been extremely strong on Russia,” the Press Secretary said. “Imposing sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals, expelling dozens of diplomats, closing two Russian counsulates, withdrawing from an INF treaty, and several other actions.”

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International

Taliban Holds Parade for 250 Newly Trained Soldiers with American-Made Weapons Left Behind

As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.

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On Sunday, Taliban forces held a very bone-chilling parade showing off their captured American-made armored military vehicles and Russian helicopters. The act was “a display that showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army” writes CNN.

The Taliban are no longer terror insurgents fighting against American forces that had once freed Afghanistan from the Taliban. As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.

The parade was part of a graduation for 250 newly trained Taliban soldiers, said defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi. CNN reports, “The exercise involved dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American-made M4 assault rifles.”

Tragically, much of the weaponry taunted in the parade by Taliban forces were supplied by the United States to the American-backed government in Kabul during the past two decades. The equipment was to aid an Afghan national force and make it capable of fighting the Taliban.

As forces fled Afghanistan, some of the military equipment provided by western forces was flown into Central Asian Countries in an attempt to avoid it landing in the hands of the Taliban. It remains unclear exactly how much of what did end up in Taliban control is still operational.

American troops destroyed over 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles, as well as disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul during the frenetic evacuation. CNN reports “Taliban officials have said that pilots, mechanics and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army would be integrated into a new force, which has also started wearing conventional military uniforms in place of the traditional Afghan clothing normally worn by their fighters.”

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