New Report: The Intel Assessment Behind That Russian Bounty Story Doesn't Even Appear to Exist

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


CBS News’ Catherine Herridge has a developing report out this evening and it’s not good for those currently setting their hair on fire over this weekend’s freak-out du jour.

That story goes that Russia was paying  bounties to Taliban members to go after U.S. troops in Afghanistan. This was supposed to be proof (or at least drive the possibility) that Trump looked the other way and betrayed U.S. interests. We’ve already got Democrats calling for an investigation and “demanding” answers. I wrote this morning about the pointless virtue signaling by some Republicans over the story, specifically Rep. Liz Cheney, so be sure to check that out.

There’s a problem though. It appears the intelligence leaked to The New York Times by an anonymous source doesn’t even actually exist.

That would explain why the White House has no idea what the Times is talking about. It was being assumed that while the President wasn’t briefed, that the intelligence itself was out there, perhaps in a raw and unverified state. This latest report takes things a step further, not only saying it wasn’t in the PDB (Presidential daily briefing), but that they can’t find any such assessment at all. We are moving from the realm of being misleading into the story being outright fake news.


Herridge reports that her source believes such information would have been included in the PDB if it was true. Intelligence officials have been trying to locate it since Friday with no success.

Meanwhile, the media and the left have another false story already seared in their collective psyche. Even if this story is definitively shown to be untrue, and we are nearing that point, they’ll still be talking about this up until the election. That is exactly why the Times put it out in the first place. It fit their narrative and they don’t care about verifying the information they publish. They know that whether it’s true or false, it’ll become conventional wisdom regardless.

We’ll likely see a lot more of these fake leaks going forward. Anything that comes out that can tie Trump to Russia is their drug of choice. The media will dutifully repeat them regardless of the veracity of the claims. That’s the world of journalism we now live in.



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