Axios: Trump Never Raised Russian Bounties With Vladimir Putin
President Donald Trump said during a recent interview with Axios that he did not raise the issue of alleged Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan during his phone call with President Vladimir Putin last week.
- Asked if he broached the matter, Trump replied, “No, that was a phone call to discuss other things.”
- The president added: “And frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.”
- Trump said he discussed nuclear proliferation with Putin, and also confirmed that he has never discussed the issue of alleged bounties with the Russian leader. “I would. I have no problem with it,” he said. Trump added that intelligence officials “didn’t think it was real,” saying, “If it would have reached my desk, I would have done something about it.”
- Asked if he reads his daily briefing, Trump said he reads “a lot” and “I comprehend extraordinarily well, probably better than anybody that you’ve interviewed in a long time.”
- Later in the interview, Trump was asked about intelligence indicating that Russia is supplying weapons to the Taliban and whether this was enough to challenge Putin over the killing of American soldiers.
- Trump responded, “Well, we supplied weapons when they were fighting Russia, too.”
- He added that he has “heard” about Russia supplying arms to the Taliban but said, “Again, it’s never reached my desk.”
- “Russia doesn’t want anything to do with Afghanistan,” Trump said. “Let me just tell you about Russia. Russia used to be a thing called the Soviet Union. Because of Afghanistan, they went bankrupt and they became Russia.”