I didn’t address this story when it came out on Friday because I have a standard rule: any shocking “blockbuster” anti-Trump story that comes from hostile media outlets such as the New York Times should be allowed to sit and air out for at least 48-72 hours to give the truth a chance to bubble up. Since this story came out on Friday, and it’s now Monday, I guess it’s safe to mention it.
The New York Times, citing its favorite source, “unnamed officials,” “reported” that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan to drive the US out of the region, and that the President was briefed on it. Joe Biden, picking up the softball handed to him by the Times, declared:
“The truly shocking revelation that if the Times report is true, and I emphasize that again, is that President Trump, the commander in chief of American troops serving in a dangerous theater of war, has known about this for months, according to the Times, and done worse than nothing.”
Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) screamed that Trump was guilty of Russian collusion (do they ever get tired of doing that?), and even some top Republicans are demanding an investigation. They really need to learn to count to 100 before taking anything seriously that comes from the New York Times.
So here’s what we know after waiting a couple of days: Russia called the story “fake,” and the Taliban denied there was any truth to it. Neither of those things may cut any ice with you, but Trump also tweeted that the Intelligence agencies reported to him that they did not brief him or the Vice President on this because they didn’t find the info credible (and that was even before they saw it in the New York Times.)
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence, but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter.” So she's saying that maybe Russia did offer such a bounty (even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally), but the big anti-Trump “bombshell” part of the story was fake news. Unless you believe our intelligence agencies are willing to lie to make it appear that President Trump is NOT colluding with Russia. And if you believe that, you haven’t been paying much attention for the past three years.
In a somewhat related story, there’s a new movie coming out about the time in the 1930s when the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for fake stories covering up atrocities committed by Russian tyrant Joseph Stalin, an award they never returned. Now, THAT'S Russian collusion!