“It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us all the best in Afghanistan,” they said in a joint statement. “We believe it is important to vigorously track all information related to Russia or another country targeting our armed forces.”
Other Republicans who attended the briefing were more optimistic. In an interview, Utah representative Chris Stewart said he sees nothing unusual in the alleged decision not to verbally inform Mr. Trump, especially when the situation does not require the president to act immediately.
“It just hasn’t got the level of credibility to draw the President’s attention,” he said, adding that military and intelligence agencies should continue to monitor Russia’s activities.
The Associated Press reported first that the intelligence agencies investigated the deaths of the three marine reservists: Staff Sgt.Christopher Slutman43 from Newark, Del .; Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, from Locust Valley, NY; and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, PA.
They were killed near Bagram Air Base when an explosive-laden vehicle hit their truck and also wounded an Afghan contractor. The massive explosion set the truck on fire and set the occupants ablaze as their fellow Marines tried to rescue them, a defense official said. A short gun battle followed.
General Zaman Mamozai, the former police chief of Parwan province, where Bagram Airfield is located, said the Taliban are hiring freelancers from local criminal networks and often blurring the lines of who carried out which attacks. He said the Taliban commanders were based in only two districts of the province, Seyagird and Shinwari, and from there they coordinated a larger network that largely hired criminals.
The Taliban have refused to participate. And a spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin from Russia, Dmitry Peskov, NBC News said on Monday that reports about the Russian system were wrong. He said that “none of the American representatives have ever raised this issue with their Russian counterparts through government or diplomatic channels.”