That Russian Bounty Story Media Flayed Trump With Just Got Officially Walked Back

AP Photo/John Raoux

Remember that Russian bounties story with which the media absolutely flayed President Donald Trump?

The fake story claimed that, per U.S. intelligence agencies, supposedly, Russia had offered bounties for killing American forces in Afghanistan. Democrats went crazy, using the story to suggest that somehow Trump, who they painted as a Putin puppet, was not doing anything about this and endangering American troops.

Now that just got officially walked back by U.S. intel.

From Daily Beast:

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

“The United States intelligence community assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019 and perhaps earlier,” a senior administration official said.

Gee, who would have thought? Fake news once again and Trump was right, yet again.

It seems that the story likely came from a detainee reporting — meaning someone likely made something up to try to get out of being held. Which means it was worth exactly nothing.

But it went everywhere and was used as a cudgel against Trump, even though it was clear it was a questionable claim from the start, as we wrote at the time, how folks in the Pentagon were questioning it.

As well, there seemed to be no “causative link” to any actual U.S. deaths, in the judgment of Gen. Frank McKenzie, the senior U.S. general for the Middle East and South Asia. Former U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers told The Daily Beast last summer that they viewed the bounties account skeptically. One retired diplomat suspected, “someone leaked this to slow down the troop withdrawal.”

“Former U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers told The Daily Beast last summer that they viewed the bounties account skeptically. One suspected, ‘someone leaked this to slow down the troop withdrawal.’”

So there were never any actual links to anything that would have demonstrated this.

But it fit the Democratic narrative, so they and the media were off and running with it, as the Daily Beast noted, Biden decrying it as a “horrifying revelation.” Trump said he hadn’t been briefed on it (likely because it wasn’t thought much of). House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) spun that, “Is this an issue where they cannot tell the president things he doesn’t want to hear when it comes to Vladimir Putin and Russia?”