WASHINGTON, D.C. – Russia sees new media reports about its alleged bounties offered to Taliban militants in Afghanistan to kill US troops there as part of the US’ domestic political fight, since forces interested (the Deep State) in US military presence in the country use fake news to justify their failure, Russia’s special presidential representative stated.
“We have already provided a comment on the New York Times’ report. There is too much fuss over explicit fake news, which even [President Donald] Trump and his administration have refuted,” Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special presidential representative for Afghanistan and the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, said, RIA Novosti reported.
“This is a continuation of the intra-party fight. I think it would be shameful to spend too much time commenting on blatant lies. Obviously, there are forces in the United States that do not want to leave Afghanistan and seek justifying their own failure. This is what all this is about,” the diplomat stressed.
Trump has noted that the US intelligence told him they did not find the reports credible. The US leader expressed the belief that the “fabricated Russia hoax” could be aimed at making “Republicans look bad”.
On Friday, The New York Times published an article where it cited unnamed government sources as saying that Trump had been presented with an intelligence report that claimed that Moscow could have paid bounty to armed insurgents in Afghanistan to assassinate US soldiers.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov also blasted reports that Russia allegedly offered Afghan militants bounties for killing US military personnel as lies and an elaborate hoax. According to him, the topic was not discussed between the two leaders.
“These claims are nothing but lies,” the Kremlin Spokesman stated, commenting on the publication of The New York Times, according to TASS.
“Once again, we can only express regret that once largest, reputable and high-quality world media outlets have been increasingly more often publishing elaborate hoaxes in the last few years, which definitely does not bode well with keeping up with their reputation and prestige,” Peskov stressed.
“If intelligence services continue to be accountable before the president in the US, then I suggest you focus on the relevant statement of President [Donald] Trump who already evaluated these publications,” he added.
When asked if President Vladimir Putin and Trump had had a phone call to discuss these allegations, Peskov said, “No.”
The New York Times claimed that an unidentified unit of the Russian military intelligence encouraged Taliban militants to attack military personnel of the international coalition in Afghanistan. The newspaper alleged that these conclusions of American intelligence services were presented for Trump’s judgment a few months ago, while the White House National Security Council discussed the topic in late March.
In turn, Trump revealed that he had not been briefed about any such attacks in Afghanistan. On Sunday, he took to Twitter to announce that the US intelligence did not find this information credible, slamming The New York Times report as “possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News” meant to tarnish the Republicans’ reputation.