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Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former national security adviser Susan Rice says President Trump sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin following news that Russia allegedly offered bounties for those who targeted American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday: "In everything [Trump's] done since, from dismissing the intelligence and standing up for Putin at Helsinki, to inviting him back into the G7 against the objections of our long-standing allies, to unilaterally withdrawing a third of our troops from Germany, all these steps benefit Putin."

  • "And now we learn that even when it comes to the blood of American service members, this president picks Putin over our troops."
  • "Why is President Trump at every turn, protecting and defending Vladimir Putin, and our arch adversary, Russia? It goes back to before he was president when he called on Russia to hack and steal his opponent’s emails."
  • "The message to Vladimir Putin is you can kill American servicemen and women with absolute impunity. This is an extraordinary revelation. The president of the United States has demonstrated absolutely callous disregard for the safety and security of American forces in a war zone and there's no explanation for this."

Between the lines: The New York Times reported a Russian military intelligence unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked groups in Afghanistan to target American troops as the U.S. was in the middle of peace talks with the official Afghanistan government and the Taliban.

  • Trump tweeted neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed about the matter, denied the story and said, "Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration."

Go deeper: Trump: Intelligence didn't find Russian bounties on U.S. troops claim credible

Go deeper

Trump wants nuclear accord with Putin by election

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

President Trump is looking to Vladimir Putin to close the deal on a pre-election nuclear agreement, a timetable that's an October surprise even for senior Republicans and some in the White House.

The big picture: Trump and Putin have discussed arms control in a string of phone calls over the last six months, and they've dispatched envoys to negotiate in Vienna. But talks appeared stalled until just a few days ago.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
3 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

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