Trump called #TraitorInChief after report on Russia offering Taliban bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan
White House officials allegedly discussed possible options to retaliate against Russia but did not take any actions
On Saturday, June 27, the hashtags #TraitorInChief, #TraitorTrump, and #TrumpTreason trended in full throttle after an explosive New York Times report was published. The report stated that the Russian military intelligence’s Unit 29155 allegedly offered bounties to militants in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers and other NATO troops there. The report noted that 20 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in 2019. Although it said that it was unclear which of these killings were linked to the bounties, if at all.
What made the report more explosive was the fact that the White House had allegedly been debating for months how it should respond to this. The New York Times report stated, “The intelligence finding was briefed to Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March.” It added that White House officials allegedly discussed possible options to retaliate against Russia, which included diplomatic reprimands, sanctions, and more. The White House, however, has reportedly not taken any action so far.
The outrage this report caused was made more potent by the fact that critics of the Donald Trump presidency have long pointed out that the U.S. President and Russia’s autocratic leader, Vladimir Putin, have shared a close relationship. Just on Thursday, June 25, President Trump, during a speech at a Wisconsin shipyard, said a “very smart, very successful” friend asked him which was “the toughest nation to deal with?”
“Is it China? Is it possibly Russia? Or is it maybe North Korea?” asked the U.S. President, quoting his unnamed friend. “I said, ‘No, the toughest nation to deal with are the Democrats in the USA,'” he told the crowd.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, said in the aftermath of the report, “Trump was cozying up to Putin and inviting him to the G7 all while his administration reportedly knew Russia was trying to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan and derail peace talks with the Taliban.”
Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia and a professor of political science at Stanford University, said, “I hope the American people will be as outraged as I am over Trump’s complacency. After he knew about these Putin-ordered contracts to kill U.S. soldiers, Trump invited Putin to the G7.”
John Weaver, a Republican political consultant, tweeted, “Trump knew Russia was paying bounties on the lives of American servicemen in Afghanistan. He took no action against Putin. Instead, @realDonaldTrump REWARDED Putin by trying to insert Russia back into the G-7. And, not enough, withdrawing 25,000 American troops from Germany.”
On Twitter, people criticized the President left, right, and center. A Twitter user wrote, “Is treason still an impeachable offense, or did Republicans rip that word out of the Constitution too? Just asking for the American troops killed by Putin-paid Taliban hit men.”
The Twitter account for the Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent anti-Trump Republicans and former Republicans, wrote, “Trump allowed Russia to put a bounty on U.S. Soldiers and did nothing to stop it, didn’t retaliate. Do our Senators denounce Trump’s actions and want to keep our troops alive?”
Former intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance wrote on Twitter, “When U.S. Intelligence warned Trump that Moscow put cash bounties on dead American soldiers he did NOT demand Putin stop his spies. No, he demanded Russia to be put back into the G-7. #TraitorInChief is now fully appropriate.”
Many on Twitter were also calling for the GOP to condemn the U.S. President, noting that they were quiet on Twitter today. A Twitter user wrote, “GOP politicians are extremely quiet today. Probably planning how to spin the fact that Trump allowed Putin to have American Soldiers hunted for cash.” Another wrote, “Conservatives - absolutely ballistic over statues of slaveholders being ripped down. Dead silent about American troops being targeted for assassination by Russian intelligence in Afghanistan. #TraitorInChief #TreasonousTrump.”