United States President Trump has revealed that the subject of alleged Russian bounties on coalition forces in Afghanistan did not come up during a recent phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Axios reports that Trump did not raise the reported intelligence about a Russian military unit offering cash to Taliban-linked militants to kill US and coalition forces.
"No, that was a phone call to discuss other things," Trump told Axios on HBO.
He told journalist Jonathan Swan: "I have never discussed it with him."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Trump said that the intelligence "never reached my desk" because of questions about its veracity and said if it had, "I would've done something about it."
The President described it as "an issue that many people said was fake news," and pointed to "some of the wonderful folks from the Bush Administration" as doubting the intelligence.
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell told MSNBC this month "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."
Media reports on the alleged Russian bounties came out in late June. Trump Administration officials said the President was not briefed because the intelligence was not verified.
However, the New York Times and AP reported the information was included in Trump's written intelligence briefings.