The New York Times first reported of a new intelligence finding that Russian intelligence officers apparently offered bounties for the heads of Americans. The Times said that President Trump was briefed on the matter, although both the president himself and National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe denied being made aware of the information.
Bounties on American Soldiers
The matter was detailed in the President’s Daily Brief – a summary of high-level national security matters. So far, no media outlet has confirmed whether or not Trump was actually briefed on the explosive finding, but it would be very unusual if he was not.
Former national security adviser John Bolton commented on the matter on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, saying it would be “disturbing” if the president hasn’t been briefed by officials on the new intel.
Three sources reported the discovery to NBC News, although they weren’t able to communicate how persuasive the finding actually is, with the assessment being made by looking at interviews with Afghan detainees.
One intelligence official said that the report isn’t particularly shocking given the history between Russia and the US, although some experts fear that if the finding is true, tensions between the two countries would soar.