Former State Department Officer Said He Knows From Experience That “There Is No Way Trump Could Not Have Known” About Russian Bounties: “He Knew — And He Chose To Do Nothing”

He knew and he lied about it. And he STILL hasn't condemned Russia.

668 points

Donald Trump has repeatedly denied that he ever knew anything about Russia paying bounties for the killing of American soldiers, even claiming that he was never briefed. Now a former senior State Department official is calling bullsh*t.

Russia has been paying bounties to the Taliban for killing our troops in Afghanistan as Trump invites Vladimir Putin to the G-7 summit and appeases him by withdrawing troops from Germany.

The bombshell report outraged Americans across the country who have been expecting Trump to condemn the bounties. But Trump has failed to do so, all while claiming ignorance.

James Bruno, who spent years working for the State Department in Afghanistan, says Trump is lying about not knowing.

“[A]s someone who spent many years working in the State Department, putting together and being present for the kind of briefings the New York Times reported on, I want lawmakers, journalists and the public to fully understand: There is no way President Trump could not have known about these explosive reports. He knew—and he chose to do nothing,” Bruno wrote in Washington Monthly.

“I look at this latest episode through three lenses: policy process, Afghanistan, and our troops,” he continued. “In a normal administration, there is a “policy process”—that is, a series of briefings and meetings of senior officials that eventually lead to policy decisions, the most important being signed off by the president.”

“When I was senior State Department officer for Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation years, we sent briefing and policy memos to the National Security Council (NSC), and, as necessary, the president, almost daily,” Bruno explained. “Any major policy decision came back with his signature. It therefore rings untrue that the commander in chief would not be informed of something as outrageous as a foreign government paying bounties for dead American soldiers.”

Trump’s failure to condemn Russia for this bloody scheme against our troops is unforgivable. Trump claims to love our troops but it’s pretty clear that he loves Putin more. It would only take minutes to craft a tweet condemning Russia for these bounties and demanding an end to them. But Trump has refused, preferring to whine about Black Lives Matter, wage war on voting, and demanding schools reopen as the pandemic rages on instead. We need a real president who will stand up for the men and women serving in uniform. Sadly, we won’t have that unless Americans vote Trump out of office this November. Until then, Putin can go on paying bounties for dead American soldiers with impunity.

Featured image via Flickr/White House, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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668 points