Jul 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign calls Trump's failure to raise Russian bounties with Putin "despicable"

Joe Biden.
Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign on Wednesday said it was "absolutely despicable" that President Trump failed to confront Vladimir Putin with intelligence indicating Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Driving the news: The president told "Axios on HBO" that he never raised the issue with his Russian counterpart, despite speaking to Putin at least eight times since intelligence about the alleged bounties was reportedly included in the President's Daily Brief in late February.

  • "That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news," Trump told Axios' Jonathan Swan.

What they're saying: "The most critical and sacred obligation of a commander-in-chief is to protect those who serve our nation in harm's way," the Biden campaign's rapid response director Andrew Bates said in a statement.

  • "But months after the U.S. intelligence community sounded the alarm — to Donald Trump and to our allies — that Russia was placing bounties on the heads of American servicemen and women in a warzone, our president continues to turn his back on those who put their lives on the line for our country, and on his own duty."
  • "This continues an indefensible pattern of Donald Trump weakening the United States in the world in a manner that no American president ever has before, and it's absolutely despicable."
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