A top commander of American troops in Afghanistan admitted in a recent interview that the intelligence community has still been unable to confirm reports that Russia allegedly paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers in the region, according to NBC News.
General Frank McKenzie made the statements in an interview with NBC, admitting that “it just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me. We continue to look for that evidence. I just haven’t seen it yet.”
The claim that Russia supposedly offered bounties to terrorists in the region for dead American soldiers immediately became an attack point for many Democrats and anti-Trump critics against the president, claiming that it was somehow proof that President Trump doesn’t care about the troops and is too closely aligned with Russia. President Trump has denied the story altogether, which led to confirmation bias among his critics who took his denial as further proof that he was aligned with Russia.
McKenzie expanded upon his original statements by emphasizing that the intelligence was simply not there, saying that while “what they presented to me [was] very concerning…I just couldn’t see the final connection, so I sent my guys back and said, look, keep digging.” Other military officials, on condition of anonymity, have backed up McKenzie’s assessment that not enough evidence exists to support the theory, or to subsequently justify any retaliatory action against Russia or the Taliban.