(CNN)President Donald Trump on Sunday denied receiving a briefing about intelligence that Russians had tried to bribe Taliban fighters to kill United States troops, as The New York Times first reported and CNN has confirmed.
The White House said neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence was briefed on such intelligence.
The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russian Federation. The Taliban said home-made explosives accounted for most of the casualties among USA forces.
While the White House does not routinely make remarks on intelligence or internal deliberations, "the CIA Director, National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President was briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence", McEnany said.
Trump's tweet came a day after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that the report, if accurate, was a "truly shocking revelation" about the commander in chief and his failure to protect USA troops in Afghanistan and stand up to Russian Federation.
Russia in a tweet on Saturday denounced the accusations, with the Russian embassy in Washington, DC calling them "baseless and anonymous".
Twenty American troops died in Afghanistan in 2019, but the New York Times said it was not clear which deaths were under suspicion.
A Taliban spokesman said the militants "strongly reject this allegation" and are not "indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign country".
According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump was briefed on the reports in March, but the White House has denied this. "But of course, he can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it".
Finally, a day after tweeting out a long list of people being sought by law authorities for vandalism in the recent uprisings, Trump also mentioned his new executive order on vandalism of federal monuments. The White House has yet to authorise any steps against Russian Federation in response to the bounties, it added.
"Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of worldwide law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin", Biden said, referring to the Russian president.