The New York Times reported that an Anonymous U.S. Intelligence official leaked a report that a Russian Intelligence Unit offered bounties on the killing of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan and paid Taliban soldiers who succeeded in the task. They go on to say U.S. Intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit had secretly offered rewards for the murder of U.S. Troops and that they had briefed the Trump Administration, including Trump himself and the White House Security Council who discussed the problem in March.
However, the story then goes onto debunk itself. Dmitry Peskov from the Kremlin said they were unaware of the accusations and said they will address them "If someone makes them". The Taliban then responded, per Zabihullah Mujahid, “These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources. That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.” He was also quoted denying having “any such relations with any intelligence agency” and called the New York Times report an attempt to "defame them".
Not only are Moscow and the Taliban exposing the NY Times story as false, but also are all U.S. Officials. While some have just outright refused to comment, for example the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Trump, generally unable to contain himself when retaliating to fake news, tweeted a reply to Linsdey Graham's tweet addressing the story:
Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!! https://t.co/cowOmP7T1S— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2020
Acting Director of the United States National Intelligence, Richard Grenell tweeted in reply to Ted Lieu, US House CA-33
I never heard this. And it’s disgusting how you continue to politicize intelligence. You clearly don’t understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain. https://t.co/403X9AVGAC— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 27, 2020
Trump followed up Grenell's tweet with:
The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its “anonymous” source. Bet they can’t do it, this “person” probably does not even exist! https://t.co/pdg4AjybOG— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2020
The New York Time is deliberately presenting fake news as real in a clear attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential election. It's shameless, despicable and we must continue to expose the overt manipulation within their reporting.
In the time of fake news and sensationalized gotcha stories, anonymous sources just don't cut it anymore and not only is it fundamentally unethical to report such absurdities as facts without the slightest amount of evidence, its dangerous and creates a trial by media atmosphere that should be denounced immediately by any American who believes in a fair trial and due process.
This has been the new normal for the Main Stream Media in the Trump Era.