Esper Says He Was Briefed On Alleged Russian Payments In February
Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed that timeline during a hearing Thursday in front of the House Armed Services Committee.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper was briefed back in February on intelligence about Russia allegedly offering payments to the Taliban to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Esper confirmed that timeline during a hearing Thursday in front of the House Armed Services Committee.
He initially told lawmakers he'd never received a briefing that included the word "bounty," when asked a carefully-worded question from Republican Rep. Mike Turner. But when Esper was later pressed by Democrats on the panel, he clarified that he'd been briefed earlier this year after U.S. commanders in Afghanistan heard about the reports in January.
Esper: "I got some initial reporting on the ground that they began pursuing. Neither thought the reports were credible as they dug into them."
Both Esper and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who was at the hearing, said the intelligence had still not been corroborated months later.
Milley: "I, and the Secretary and many others are taking it serious. We're gonna get to the bottom of it. When I find out if, in fact, it's true, and if it is true, we will take action."
Esper also said he's ordered an investigation into a series of leaks of sensitive information coming from the Pentagon. He said those "unlawful" leaks, which include the disclosure of the alleged Russian payments, started last year and have continued into 2020.
Houston Hospital Helps Amputee Patients With New Prosthetics Procedure
New surgical procedure at a Houston hospital increases success of people getting prosthetics.By Newsy
How Effective Is Missile Defense?
Armies have gradually improved techniques to defend against both ballistic rockets and powered missiles.By Ariel Schalit / AP
Dallas Air Show Victims Named; NTSB Investigation Underway
Six people were killed Saturday when a World War II-era bomber and a fighter plane collided and crashed in a ball of flames during an air show.By Dr. Scott M. Lieberman / AP
President Biden Visits Arizona Computer Chip Site, Highlights Jobs
The Democratic president has staked his legacy in large part on major investments in technology and infrastructure that were approved by Congress.By Patrick Semansky / AP
Trump Organization Convicted Of Tax Fraud In Executive's Scheme
Trump's company was convicted of tax fraud for a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on perks like apartments and cars.By Julia Nikhinson / AP
Steph Curry Clears Air On Fake Viral Video Of 5 Full-Court Shots
Curry confirmed the viral video of him making five full-court shots in a row was fake but called it the "ultimate compliment" that fans believed it.By David Zalubowski / AP