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White House and Pentagon Expose Media’s Afghan Fake News Story as ‘Absolutely Irresponsible’

June 30, 2020 (EIRNS)—The White House and Pentagon denounced the New York Times and other media carrying the fake claims on Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: “I would just point you back to the absolutely irresponsible decision of the New York Times to falsely report that he [Trump] was briefed on something that he, in fact, was not briefed on,” she said. “And I really think that it’s time for the New York Times to step back and ask themselves why they’ve been wrong—so wrong, so often.”

Referring to another previous false reports by the New York Times, she said, “The New York Times falsely claimed Paul Manafort asked for polling data to be passed along to Oleg Deripaska before having to issue a correction.” After that, the paper “falsely wrote all 17 intel agencies had agreed on Russian interference, before having to issue a correction that it was only four agencies.”

“That’s what we call the ‘Russia hoax,’ which was investigated for three years with taxpayer dollars before ultimately getting an exoneration in the Mueller report,” she continued. “It is inexcusable, the failed Russia reporting of the New York Times. And I think it’s time that the New York Times, and also the Washington Post, hand back their Pulitzers.”

The U.S. Department of Defense issued a statement, dated June 29, saying it has no facts to confirm the New York Times allegations. “The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.”

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe warned in a statement yesterday that such fake stories endanger the lives of American servicemen. “The selective leaking of any classified information disrupts the vital interagency work to collect, assess, and mitigate threats and places our forces at risk. It is also, simply put, a crime,” he said. “We are still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting and we will brief the President and Congressional leaders at the appropriate time. This is the analytic process working the way it should. Unfortunately, unauthorized disclosures now jeopardize our ability to ever find out the full story with respect to these allegations,” his statement concluded.

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