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Joe Biden attacked President Donald Trump on Saturday over a report on Russian offers of rewards for US soldiers in Afghanistan killed by the Taliban. If true, Biden said, the report contains a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander-in-chief and his failure to protect US troops in Afghanistan and stand up to Russia, Lynn Berry wrote for the Associated Press (AP) on Sunday, June 28, 2020.

The New York Times reported Friday that American intelligence officials concluded months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing US troops in Afghanistan. The report said the Russians offered rewards for successful attacks last year, at a time when the US and Taliban were holding talks to end the long-running war.

“The truly shocking revelation that if the Times report is true, and I emphasize that again, is that President Trump, the commander-in-chief of American troops serving in a dangerous theater of war, has known about this for months, according to the Times, and done worse than nothing,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said during a virtual town hall. “Not only has he failed to sanction and impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” the former vice president said.

The newspaper, citing unnamed officials familiar with the intelligence, said the findings were presented to Trump and discussed by his National Security Council in late March. Officials developed potential responses, starting with a diplomatic complaint to Russia, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the report said. The White House denied that Trump, who rarely reads and listens to intelligence briefings, knew about the report.

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