Intercepted financial data raised suspicions about Russian bounties: report

Large financial transfers intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies led to raised suspicions about Russian bounties, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported on Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE was provided with written briefs on intelligence that Russia offered bounties to incentivize Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the newspaper reported that U.S. analysts concluded that large financial transfers intercepted by the U.S. were likely bounties from the GRU, Moscow's military intelligence agency, to the Taliban. 

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The analysts found that several Afghan businessmen who transferred money through the informal “hawala” system over the past six months served as middlemen for these transactions. The transfers reportedly quelled disagreements among intelligence officials on whether the initial intelligence about Russian bounties was credible. 

White House officials claimed Trump was not briefed on the intelligence because it was too uncertain. 

The White House did not mention this to GOP lawmakers on Monday when they were briefed on the intelligence, the Times reported.  

Trump has described the intelligence as “not credible” and a “hoax.” Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have asked administration officials to explain what Trump knew about the threat.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, a group of Democrats who had just been briefed at the White House questioned why Trump's advisers did not make sure Trump saw the intelligence as he kept cordial communications with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad How conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Trump administration praises UK sanctions on human rights abusers MORE