- Title: U.S. handled bounty matter correctly regarding force protection -Pompeo
- Date: 1st July 2020
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 1, 2020) (STATE TV) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO WALKING OUT TO PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "I don't want to comment about the intelligence. The CIA has put out a statement. The DNI has put out a statement. But I can tell you the intelligence community handled this incredibly well. We see threats in intelligence reporting to our soldiers stationed all over the world every single day. Every single day. And so, I can assure you that whatever reporting it is that you are referring to, that we responded in precisely the correct way with respect to making sure that our forces were postured appropriately, that they were aware of the level of the threat, the credibility of the threat, and that we were there. Second, the fact that the Russians are engaged in Afghanistan in a way that is adverse to the United States is nothing new." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "We took this seriously. We handled it appropriately. The Russians have been selling small arms that put Americans at risk there for ten years. We've objected to it. To your point, when I meet with my Russian counterparts, I talk to them about this each time. Stop this." REPORTER ASKING: 'Is now the time to be bringing Russia into the G7? (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "With respect to Russia and the G7. When when they were in this, they were causing problems. They're out of it and they still continue to present risks to us. We need to talk to the Russians. And so, the president gets to decide if he wants them to come to summits or not, that's his decision, I'll I'll certainly leave that to him, but I do believe it is absolutely important that we have more frequent engagement with the Russians. You saw we had two days in Vienna last week to talk about really critical, strategic dialogue about nuclear weapons systems proliferating around the world. I think it is wholly important and appropriate for the United States to continue to have dialogue with the Russians to convince them to change some of the activities that are inconsistent with what it is the United States needs to do to preserve security and freedom for its own people." JOURNALISTS AT NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 15th July 2020 18:14
- Keywords: Afghanistan Pompeo Russia Taliban US-Russia bounty on heads of American soldiers
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001CKZC4EF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United States handled reported intelligence that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban-affiliated militants to kill U.S. soldiers correctly in terms of the protection of U.S. troops, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday (July 1).
However, speaking to reporters, Pompeo did not explicitly confirm the intelligence, which has been widely reported in the media, nor did he address whether U.S. President Donald Trump was made aware of it.
After Trump initially said he was not briefed on the matter, the White House said Trump was not "personally" briefed but did not address whether he had received a written report, read it, and why he had not responded more aggressively if so.
"I can assure you that whatever reporting it is that you are referring to, that we responded in precisely the correct way with respect to making sure that our forces were postured appropriately, that they were aware of the level of the threat, the credibility of the threat," Pompeo told reporters.
He also said that Russia has been acting in ways contrary to U.S. interests in Afghanistan for a decade, including by selling small arms that put U.S. soldiers at risk. He said it was up to Trump whether to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to a Group of Seven (G7) summit, saying that Russia caused problems when it was in the group, still presents risks and he believed it was important to have more frequent dealings with Moscow.
(Production: Arlene Eiras)
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