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Pompeo Promotes the Fake News Story that Trump Refused To Discuss with Putin

July 31, 2020 (EIRNS)—While President Donald Trump again this week reiterated that the allegations that Russian military intelligence paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan were fake news and that therefore he has not raised this claim with Putin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during July 30 testimony that he raises it in every discussion he has with the Russians. “I can assure you and the American people that each time I’ve spoken with [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov, I have raised all of the issues that put any American interests at risk, whether it’s our soldiers on the ground in Syria, soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, the activities that are taking place in Libya, the actions in Ukraine,” he said, reported Britain’s Independent daily. “Each and every one of these [issues] that potentially threaten American interests are things that I raise in my conversations with Foreign Minister Lavrov, and I speak with him with some frequency.”

Pompeo even went so far as to implicitly threaten lethal force against Russia. He claimed that the deaths of “300 Russians” in Syria sent a warning to Moscow. He was likely referring to the incident in early 2018 when U.S. airpower was employed against what was reported to be a large force of Russian mercenaries and Syrian militias moving into the oil fields in eastern Syria. Some 200-300 Russians were reported to be killed.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt in the mind of every Russian leader, including Vladimir Putin, about the expectations of the United States of America not to kill Americans,” Pompeo said. “I can promise you that the 300 Russians who were in Syria and who took action that threatened America who are no longer on this planet understand that, too,” he said.

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