The Biden administration and multiple u.S. intelligence agencies admitted on Thursday that the “Russian bounties” narrative, which was used by lawmakers and the corporate to block and pressure then-president Donald Trump pulling troops out of Afghanistan in 2020, was completely false.
Anti-Trump activist Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) played an instrumental role in working with Democrats to block Trump from ending the “forever war’ in Afghanistan.
President Trump demanded in 2020 that the Pentagon draw up plans to bring troops stationed in Afghanistan home permanently by Election Day. President Trump also signed a deal with the Taliban to end the war completely in February 2020. The proposal was met with vehement pushback in the corporate media and intelligence community.
Shortly thereafter, a story surfaced which claimed the Russian government was paying cash “bounties” to the Taliban to kill American soldiers.
Rep. Cheney was one of the leading proponents of this claim, releasing a joint statement with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) that stressed the importance of engaging Russia and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“After today’s briefing with senior White House officials, we remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces. It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan. We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces. Congress has no more important obligation than providing for the security of our nation and ensuring our forces have the resources they need. We anticipate further briefings on this issue in the coming days.”
The freshman Wyoming lawmaker continued to obsess over the story, holding press conferences in which she claimed Russia should “face a very swift and deadly response” from the U.S.
America’s adversaries should never question the will of the United States government or the American people to defend our interests, to protect the security of our nation, to protect our Armed Forces, and to respond when attacked or threatened. pic.twitter.com/czl22H8hrd
— Rep. Liz Cheney (@RepLizCheney) June 30, 2020
In July 2020, Cheney co-sponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization ACT (NDAA) with Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) that blocked President Trump from expending federal monies to bring the number of troops in Afghanistan below 8,000.
Cheney’s amendment was passed by a margin of 45-11, and the NDAA was then unanimously approved. American troops have remained in Afghanistan to this day.
The story that led to President Trump being obstructed from ending the forever war in Afghanistan was revealed this week to be completely false.
— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) April 15, 2021
“The United States intelligence community assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019 and perhaps earlier,” a Biden administration official admitted.
Joe Biden repeatedly invoked the “Russian Bounties” hoax during the 2020 presidential campaign, and tried to bring it up during a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2021, shortly after being inaugurated.
Cheney went on to vote to impeach President Trump for “inciting insurrection” during House Democrats’ bizarre post-term impeachment trial, becoming one of only 10 Republicans to do so.
On Wednesday, Cheney announced that she will not support President Trump if he seeks election in 2024.
However, given Cheney’s overwhelming unpopularity among Republican voters both in her home state and nationwide, and reports that she will likely face a difficult battle against a Trump-backed opponent in the 2022 GOP primary, her lack of support for a 2024 Trump run could be made irrelevant if she is voted out of office.