On February 27, Trump was briefed on the possibility that a Russian military intelligence unit may have secretly paid Taliban-linked militants to kill US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, according to a report from The New York Times.
The same day, Trump had a prolonged meeting with the producers behind a dramatized play about ex-FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and met with African American media personalities to discuss "community empowerment."
The White House and Trump denied that the president was briefed on the suspected Russian operation, with Trump claiming US intel "did not find this info credible" and therefore did not report the situation to him or Vice President Mike Pence.
However, three NATO officials told Business Insider that they were briefed on the situation and the investigation into the suspected plot.
President Donald Trump was reportedly briefed on potential Russian bounty on US troops in Afghanistan on February 27 — the same day he had a prolonged meeting with the producers behind a dramatized play about ex-FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Trump received a written briefing on the suspected Russian operation back in late February, in which a Russian military intelligence unit may have secretly offered bounties Taliban-linked militants to kill US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
One official pinpointed to The Times the date of the President's Daily Brief as February 27.
The Associated Press also reported on the president being briefed on the possible Russian operation but offered a timeline that dated a year earlier than what was laid out by The Times.
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On February 27 of this year, The Daily Beast reported that Trump spent 45 minutes with the actors and producers behind a dramatized play depicting former FBI agent Strzok and former FBI lawyer Page, who exchanged text messages about the upcoming 2016 election while having an affair — and have become targets of Trump's ire.
The low-budget conservative play, titled "FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers," debuted at CPAC on February 27, with Strzok played by actor Dean Cain, who played Superman in the 1990s ABC show "Lois and Clark," and Page played by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" actress Kristy Swanson.
"We went for a 15-minute meeting that took 45 minutes," playwright Phelim McAleer told The Daily Beast at the time. "We were there for 45 minutes in the Oval Office, and he loves it, he loves the play."
Later on February 27, Trump met with African American media personalities, like Candace Owens and Diamond and Silk, to discuss "community empowerment," The Daily Beast reported. Meanwhile, the Dow took another dive the same day, amid early market fears prompted by the then-emerging coronavirus pandemic.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the possible Russian operation.
"The United States receives thousands of intelligence reports a day, and they are subject to strict scrutiny," McEnany said during a Saturday press briefing.
Trump also claimed US intel did not report the situation to him nor Pence, claiming US intel "did not find this info credible" and calling The Times' report "possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax."
Russia has also denied the report.
However, three NATO officials told Business Insider that they were briefed on the suspected Russian operation.
"We were briefed [by the Americans] on a potential threat to our troops in Afghanistan from operatives potentially linked to the Russian intelligence services," one NATO military intelligence official said. "There is no indication that our troops — or any non-US NATO troops — have been targeted in these attacks, but all NATO services with casualties in Afghanistan over the past two years are currently checking for any connections."
Read the original article on Business Insider