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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.

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

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