(The Center Square) – Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger said more information is needed after a New York Times report that Russians paid Afghan militants bounty money to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Kinzinger was one of eight GOP lawmakers briefed on the subject. The New York Times reported American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account.
The Associated Press reported that suspicions about Russia deepened when members of an elite Naval Seals team raided a Taliban outpost and recovered about $500,000 earlier this year.
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was one of eight GOP lawmakers briefed on the report.
“If the Russians, in fact – and they have meddled in Afghanistan for quite some time – if they were doing this, let’s let this come out and then the president needs to take aggressive action at that point,” Kinzinger told CNN. “You can’t really do it if you don’t know.”
Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth said on the Senate floor that President Donald Trump had known for months about the bounties, but had done nothing to protect those troops. Kinzinger said he believes the president was never briefed on the subject.
Kinzinger said in a statement that “there are already those who are politicizing the issue, however, we cannot let politics overshadow a truth that Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on…the Putin regime cannot be trusted.”