The US Senate minority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, seemingly got on his hobby-horse once more as he demanded new sanctions against Moscow amid reports about Russian agents putting ‘bounties’ on US troops in Afghanistan.
“We need, in this coming defense bill, which we are debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia,” Schumer told journalists, emphatically gesturing to drive home the point.
The reason for the “tough sanctions” is a report by the New York Times that cites “interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals,” and accuses Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, of literally offering bounties to the Taliban for every US soldier killed in Afghanistan.
The report was dismissed by both Russia and the Taliban, which denied any such bounties ever being offered. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe came out to say that neither President Donald Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were ever briefed on anything like this. These facts, however, left the New York Times undeterred, as the paper followed up with another piece on the issue, this time citing “officials briefed on the matter.”
Schumer, however, admitted that he does not really know anything about the situation since he “was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence,” unlike the New York Times’ mysterious sources. That did not stop him, however, from claiming that this supposedly real data “shows” new sanctions against Moscow are desperately needed.
Calling for sanctions on Russia has been one of the senator’s pastimes for quite some time. Since the start of the year, he has demanded new restrictions against Moscow twice – in February and March. He has also sought to pressure the EU into imposing sanctions as well.
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