New York Times: New US memo highlights gaps in intelligence studies on Russian bounties

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Citing three officers, the paper reported that the National Intelligence Council, led by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, wrote the two-and-a-half web page memo, which was dated on Wednesday — simply days after the Times first reported final week on intelligence officers’ data of the bounties and the White House’s subsequent inaction.

The officers advised the Times that the timing and highlights of the memo, which is alleged to comprise no new particulars, indicate that it aimed to fortify the administration’s efforts to defend staying silent to the information. Multiple former nationwide safety officers advised the paper that the memo’s depiction advised that it could have been swayed by political intentions.

The memo states that the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center had evaluated with “medium confidence” {that a} unit of the Russian army intelligence company GRU supplied the bounties, two of the officers briefed on the memo’s contents advised the paper.

But the National Security Agency and different members of the intelligence group decided that they didn’t have enough proof to succeed in that degree of certainty and thus held much less confidence within the willpower, the 2 officers advised the paper. A 3rd official conversant in the memo advised the Times that the CIA’s degree of confidence within the conclusion was increased than that of different businesses.

A spokeswoman for the DNI’s workplace declined to remark. Source has additionally reached out to the CIA.

News of the memo follows denials from the White House that President Donald Trump was “personally briefed” on studies that Russia supplied bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan.
But the intelligence was included in one of Trump’s daily briefings on intelligence issues someday within the spring, in keeping with a US official with direct data of the most recent data. And a supply conversant in the scenario advised Source the White House was provided with such intelligence in early 2019.
Source additionally reported Wednesday that Trump’s resistance to intelligence warnings about Russia led his nationwide safety group, together with those that delivered the President’s Daily Brief, to brief him orally less often on Russia-related threats to the US, in keeping with a number of former administration officers who briefed Trump, have been current for briefings and who ready paperwork for his intelligence briefings.

The Times reported Friday that the memo purportedly walks via the intelligence behind the businesses’ conclusions. This included studies of conferences between Russian army intelligence officers and leaders of felony networks with ties to the Taliban, of a GRU account transferring cash to the community and of captured lower-level community members confirming Russia’s use of bounties to spur such killings.

The two officers who elaborated on the memo in larger element, nonetheless, advised the Times that the memo emphasised the shortage of proof as to what the GRU officers and community leaders stated precisely through the conferences — and thus couldn’t make sure that Russia explicitly prolonged bounties for American troopers’ deaths.

It additionally confused that the NSA lacked surveillance footage of the captured members’ purported accounts of bounties or clear proof that the transferred cash was to pay for bounties, the officers advised the Times.

The memo additionally states that the Defense Intelligence Agency lacked proof straight linking the alleged bounty affords to the Kremlin, the officers advised the paper.

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