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Colin Powell Calls Media Coverage of Russia Bounties “Hysterical”

The retired Army General was also joined by current military higher-ups on downplaying the significance of the raw intelligence.


In the latest round of, "What can the media pin on Donald Trump," we have the Russia/Taliban bounty "scandal."

We have Schiff who possibly knew about the report for months, who just now finds it outrageous. 

And we have every talking head on the planet covering the story around the clock. 

Then there's retired Army General, and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell who says the media is…"hysterical."

From our friends at Fox News:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell indicated on Thursday that media figures overreacted to a recent report that Russian officials placed bounties on the lives of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

"What I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting," Powell told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "It got kind of out of control before we really had an understanding of what had happened. I’m not sure we fully understand now."

Powell added that Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command "did not think this was of that level of importance to us.

"Remember, it’s not the intelligence community that’s going to go fight these guys, it’s the guys on the ground. It’s our troops. It’s our commanders who are going to go deal with this kind of a threat, using intelligence that was given to them by the intelligence community.

"But that has to be analyzed," Powell went on. "It has to be attested. And then you have to go find out who the enemy is. And I think we were on top of that one, but it just got — it got almost hysterical in the first few days."

Powell was not the only significant figure to dispel the concern over the alleged bounty plot by the Russians. 

The top US General in the Middle East, Kenneth McKenzie, also downplayed the significance of the story

From ABC News:

The top U.S. general in the Middle East said Tuesday he was aware of the intelligence of a Russian bounty program targeting U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but while he said he found it “worrisome,” he said he did not believe it was tied to actual U.S. military deaths on the battlefield.

“I found it very worrisome, I just didn't find that there was a causative link there," Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said in an interview with a small number of reporters.

‘The intel (intelligence) case wasn't proved to me -- it wasn't proved enough that I'd take it to a court of law -- and you know that's often true in battlefield intelligence,” said McKenzie.

“You see a lot of indicators, many of them are troubling many of them you act on. But, but in this case there just there wasn't enough there I sent the intelligence guys back to continue to dig on it, and I believe they're continuing to dig right now, but I just didn't see enough there to tell me that the circuit was closed in that regard.”

He added that force protection levels in Afghanistan are always high “whether the Russians are paying the Taliban or not." McKenzie said the insurgent group has always focused its attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan, though that has ceased under the current U.S. peace agreement with the Taliban.

“Over the past several years, the Taliban have done their level best to carry out operations against us, so nothing is practically changed on the ground in terms of force protection, because we have a very high force protection standard now, and that force protection standard's going to continue into the future,” said McKenzie.

The Trump administration has found itself under fire following the recent disclosure by U.S. officials that U.S. intelligence had found evidence of a Russian intelligence program that paid Taliban fighters to target American forces in Afghanistan has been controversial. A military official told ABC News that information about the program was informed by a raid on a Taliban location in January found a large amount of American cash.

President Donald Trump and other administration officials have said he was not personally, verbally briefed on the intelligence because the U.S. intelligence community had not fully "verified" the information. The Associated Press and the New York Times have have that the information was included in the written version of the President's Daily Intelligence Brief in late February.

McKenzie indicated that “reports of this nature have been out there for a while, but it was very very low levels of authenticity about them. And so you just continue to plow through them and sort of as you go forward.”

The general said Russian motivations in Afghanistan are influenced by the defeat of Russian forces in that country and always take an "opportunity to throw sand in our gears when they can and make life uncomfortable for us."

"We should always remember the Russians are not our friends, they are not our friends and they are not our friends in Afghanistan and they do not wish us well," said McKenzie. "And we just need to remember that at all times, when we evaluate that intelligence."

Still, as expected, the full story will never be told. 

The liberal media and leftist politicians will continue to tell their tale:

The real question is, why would Americans doubt the validity of the story when it's being shoved down their throat at every turn. 

More importantly, why would they doubt it when the people with real knowledgde on these matters are virtually silenced...or at least their stories are.

You can search youtube and find dozens of videos framing the President as lying about the story. 

Good luck finding any video of either General's opinon on the matter. 

If anything, Colin Powell's take on the matter is most defining of the story. 

He is not a Trump guy, but he is a military guy, and has honorably served his country in multiple capacities. 

What reason would he have to protect The President or endanger the troops?


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