Trump knew that Russia was arming the Taliban against U.S. troops, but he still pushed the CIA to give Putin counterterrorism secrets.
From mid-2017 and into 2018, Pentagon officials became increasingly confident in intelligence reports that the Kremlin was arming the Taliban, which posed a significant threat to American and coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan.
Three dimensions of Trump’s response are described in detail in this article, based on interviews with several former Trump administration officials who spoke to Just Security on the record.
First, President Trump decided not to confront Putin about supplying arms to the terrorist group. Second, during the very times in which U.S. military officials publicly raised concerns about the program’s threat to U.S. forces, Trump undercut them. He embraced Putin, overtly and repeatedly, including at the historic summit in Helsinki. Third, behind the scenes, Trump directed the CIA to share intelligence information on counterterrorism with the Kremlin despite no discernible reward, former intelligence officials who served in the Trump administration told Just Security.
Trump knew that the Russians were arming the Taliban against U.S. troops, and his response was to direct the CIA to share counterterrorism secrets with Putin. After the Russians got away with arming the Taliban, they escalated to putting a bounty on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Instead of confronting Putin, Trump emboldened, encouraged, and rewarded him for attempting to kill American troops.
The treason clause in Article III Sec. 3 of The Constitution states, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
Trump has given aid and comfort to Russia, an American enemy, and helped them kill or injure U.S. troops. Russia’s behavior didn’t come out of the blue. It was emboldened and encouraged by Trump, who committed treason from inside the Oval Office.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association