The reports were overblown that Russia offered money to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said.
"What I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting," Powell told MSNBC. "It got kind of out of control before we really had an understanding of what had happened. I'm not sure we fully understand now."
Powell continued,"But [commander of U.S. Central Command] Gen. [Kenneth] McKenzie ... he did not think this was of that level of importance to us. Remember, it's not the intelligence community that's going to go fight these guys, it's the guys on the ground. It's our troops. It's our commanders who are going to go deal with this kind of a threat, using intelligence that was given to them by the intelligence community.
President Donald Trump denied The New York Times report claiming he received briefings on Russian bounties but ignored them.
"You see a lot of indicators," Powell said. "Many of them are troubling, many of them you act on. But, in this case there just there wasn't enough there. I sent the intelligence guys back to continue to dig on it, and I believe they're continuing to dig right now, but I just didn't see enough there to tell me that the circuit was closed in that regard."
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