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Biden slams Trump for not sanctioning Russia over Afghan militant 'bounties' intelligence

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWoman accused of trying to sell Pelosi laptop to Russians arrested Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Trump moves to lift coronavirus travel restrictions on Europe, Brazil MORE bashed President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE for not sanctioning Russia after the the New York Times reported that the he was allegedly briefed on American intelligence findings that Russian military operatives reportedly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan, including US troops, amid peace talks.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany later denied that Trump and Vice President Pence were briefed on the intelligence, but did not deny that the intelligence was accurate.

The Russian government and Taliban officials have also denied the reports. 

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However, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Fox News released reports confirming the Times’s reporting.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said during a virtual town hall on Saturday that the Times report, if true, represents a “truly shocking revelation,” emphasizing Trump’s reported failure to retaliate against Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinIncoming national security adviser calls for immediate release of Kremlin critic Navalny Kremlin critic Navalny detained in Moscow upon return to Russia Navalny planning return to Russia on Sunday MORE

“Not only has he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law, Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin,” Biden said.

The newspaper's reporting resulted in a renewed push among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to sanction Russia.  

Biden said he was “outraged” by the Times report and said that Trump’s “entire presence has been a gift to Putin.” 

“This is beyond the pale. It’s a betrayal of the most sacred duty in the nation: to protect our troops when we send them into harm's way,” Biden said.

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“If I’m elected president, make no mistake about it, Vladimir Putin will be confronted and we’ll impose serious costs on Russia.”

Tump has been criticized for being too friendly toward Putin since the start of his presidency.

Most notably, he doubted American intelligence during a 2018 press conference alongside Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where he publicly questioned U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.