The US Senate minority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, seemingly got on his hobby-horse once more as he demanded new sanctions against Moscow amid reports about Russian agents putting ‘bounties’ on US troops in Afghanistan.
“We need, in this coming defense bill, which we are debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia,” Schumer told journalists while emphatically gesturing to apparently add more weight to his point.
The reason for the “tough sanctions” is a report by The New York Times that cites some “interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals” and accuses the Russian military intelligence, the GRU, of literally offering bounties to the Taliban for every American soldier killed in Afghanistan.
The report was dismissed by both Russia and the Taliban, which denied any such bounties ever being offered. Even the Director of the US National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, came out to say that neither President Donal Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were ever briefed on anything like this. These facts, however, left The New York Times undeterred as the paper followed up with another piece on the issue, this time citing some “officials briefed on the matter.”
Schumer, however, admitted that he does not really know anything about the situation since he “was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence,” unlike The New York Times’ mysterious sources. That did not stop him, however, from claiming that this supposedly real data “shows” new sanctions against Moscow are desperately needed.
In fact, calling for sanctions against Russia has been the senator’s favorite pastime for quite some time now. Since the start of this year, he has managed to demand new restrictions against Moscow twice – in February and March. He has also sought to press the EU into imposing some as well.
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