Trump releases documents swearing it was China who paid bounties on American soldiers -- not Russia
US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to revive negotiations when they met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan AFP/File / Brendan Smialowski

When bounties were put on American soldiers' heads in Afghanistan, intelligence officials suspected that it was Russia of paying militants. The information was based on U.S. intelligence officials who saw "large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia's military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account," the New York Times report stated in July.

President Donald Trump is now trying to turn it into blaming China for the bounties, purporting to have an "uncorroborated intelligence" report saying that "China offered to pay non-state actors," said Axios. Obviously, saying China offered to pay is dramatically different from Russia being caught in a bank transfer to the Taliban.

"The disclosure of this unconfirmed intelligence comes 21 days before the end of Trump's presidency, after he has vowed to ratchet up pressure on China," the report continued.

President-elect Joe Biden has complained in recent weeks that he hasn't been able to get briefings from the Defense Department on key issues for the past few weeks, so it's unclear if he examined this report.

Axios also explained that this is a dramatic shift for China, which hasn't attacked American soldiers on foreign soil.

"If the intelligence does not prove accurate, it raises questions about the motivations of the sources behind it as well as the decision to declassify it," said the report.

See the full report at Axios.