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This is the Afghan contractor who delivered Russian cash to the Taliban: report

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There are about 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan, providing the main component of the Resolute Support mission to support and train local forces AFP/File / WAKIL KOHSAR

According to the New York Times, Afghan contractor Rahmatullah Azizi was the one who delivered cash from the Russian GRU to the Taliban for their pledge to kill American soldiers for the Russians.

“He was a lowly drug smuggler, neighbors and relatives say,” about Azizi. Then he started working on projects that involved funneling money into projects in Afghanistan.

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“As security agencies connected the dots of the bounty scheme and narrowed in on him, they carried out sweeping raids to arrest dozens of his relatives and associates about six months ago, but discovered that Mr. Azizi had sneaked out of Afghanistan and was likely back in Russia,” the Times reported. “What they did find in one of his homes, in Kabul, was about half a million dollars in cash.”

Officials in both the U.S. and Afghanistan have been warning about the scheme for years. But it was only after the Times broke the story, that elected officials, including President Donald Trump, seemed to learn about it.

According to Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, who appeared on MSNBC Wednesday, the funds were being sent from Russia regardless of whether the Taliban followed through with killing soldiers or not. There was no report back to the GRU about casualties. The money continued to flow.

“None of those interviewed who know Mr. Azizi were surprised when his associates were raided about six months ago and one of his brothers taken into custody with the half a million dollars in cash,” said the Times. “As one of his friends put it, he had gone from ‘not even having a blanket’ to having multiple houses, fancy cars, and security escorts.”

Read the full report.

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WATCH: Shep Smith ends his show with a passionate plea to ‘follow the Fauci’ as COVID-19 surges

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CNBC host Shepard Smith, a former veteran newsman at Fox News, on Friday begged Americans to follow guidance from Anthony Fauci to prevent the spread of COVID-19

“Those of us in New York and the Northeast are worried about you, our friends, our loved ones and our viewers across the country, now more than ever really,” Smith said. “This new COVID surge is awful. So, follow the Fauci. Not for us, we are mostly good around here, we are worried for you. So please, follow the Fauci," he said.

New York was hit hard during the initial stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States. "We lived the horror of neighbors and friends sick and dying," Smith said.

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Trump gets schooled by a historian for comparing his achievements to Abraham Lincoln’s

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During the final presidential debate on Thursday, President Donald Trump boasted that he had done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. On Friday, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared on CNN and blasted Trump for his remark.

“The most important thing in a time of crisis is for a president to be willing it take responsibility. One of FDR’s aides once said when things are going on right, people don't have to think a lot about the character demanded by the presidency. He can just stay in that old picture frame,” she told CNN host Chris Cuomo.

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2020 Election

Trump argues Biden is the candidate of ‘needless death’ — on the ‘worst day of the pandemic’

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President Donald Trump attempted to brand former Vice President Joe Biden as the candidate of "needless death" during a Friday night campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida.

"Biden is the candidate of endless wars and needless deaths," Trump argued, as coronavirus fatalities continue to mount.

"The United States is in the midst of one of the most severe surges of the coronavirus to date, with more new cases reported across the country on Friday than on any other single day since the pandemic began," The New York Times reported Friday.

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