The New York Times confirmed Tuesday that money from a Russian military account did send large financial transfers into Taliban-linked bank accounts. Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace about it, reporter Adam Goldman explained that the more information that becomes known, the more convoluted the excuses and explanations are from Republicans.
Goldman's reporting revealed that President Donald Trump was informed about Russian bounty on American soldiers as part of his Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) on February 27. Trump has called the Times "fake news" and said that intelligence told him that the story wasn't "credible."
The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its “anonymous” source. Bet they can’t do it, this “person” probably does not e… https://t.co/6M2VPp9SBi— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1593346931.0
Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP.… https://t.co/6pLJ3qLeh6— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1593398424.0
"In normal circumstances, the president would have read the PDB so the fact of the matter that they put it in the PDB, they thought it was worth the president's attention," said Goldman. "We know the president doesn't read the PDB. He gets an oral briefing from his intelligence briefer two or three times a week. You know, Ambassador [John] Bolton says he doesn't even take them seriously. So, the information was there for him to absorb."
He went on to explain that Republicans can't even come up with what excuse they want to use for why Trump isn't responsible for the lives of the soldiers killed.
"This idea that the president shouldn't have been told about it is silly and the Republicans can't seem to get their stories straight," Goldman said. "Yesterday they accuse us of jeopardizing an ongoing investigation and today they're saying, 'Oh, it's not credible.' The president saying, 'It's a hoax.' They can't even get on the same page. Mike McCall from Texas yesterday said there was strong evidence supporting this and there was strong evidence the other way. So, at some point, if it was worth being in a PDB, you'd think somebody would have told the president about this."
He went on to say that those on the ground investigating the scandal are far more credible than Republicans are making them out to be.
"As part of this investigation, it looks like special commandos in Afghanistan did a number of raids and arrested this Afghan businessman who might have had ties to this particular operation or conspiracy, whatever you want to call it. And as part of this, they uncovered about $500,000 in a house that was owned by a member of the Taliban," explained Goldman. "For the people working this, it was an investigation and they had to unspool what they were finding, right? And then they started looking back after they collected evidence and started to piece this thing together. The tactical intelligence or the tactical reporting on the ground to the people who were working this was very, very credible. And my understanding is there were few doubts on the ground that this was not real or not credible."
See the discussion below: