Mar 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Duckworth calls on Biden to release intel on alleged Russian bounties in Afghanistan

Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth pays respects to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sept. 25, 2020. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) sent a letter on Monday calling on President Biden's director of national intelligence to declassify and release intelligence on an alleged Russian campaign to pay bounties to the Taliban to target U.S. troops, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Biden's campaign called Donald Trump's response to the controversy last year "absolutely despicable," after the former president initially called reports on the alleged bounties a "hoax" and told "Axios on HBO" that he did not raise the issue in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What she's saying: "I urge you to take action where the prior administration failed," Duckworth, a veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in her March 1 letter to DNI Avril Haines.

  • In the letter, Duckworth applauded Biden "for tasking Haines with reviewing alleged Russian activity, including the bounties program," Politico's Lara Seligman reports.
  • Duckworth called on the DNI to prepare an unclassified assessment "that will provide urgently needed transparency on this grave matter" after a review is finished.

The big picture: President Biden held his first call with Putin on Jan. 26 and pressed the Russian leader on the alleged bounties, according to a White House readout.

Go deeper