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> Look at this headline from the “New York Times.” New administration memo seeks to foster doubts about suspected Russian bounties. Now, this memo was produced in recent days by the office of president trump’s top intelligence official. The memo confirms accounts that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fight toers kill U.S. Troops in Afghanistan but passed the reports as incomplete, and potentially dubious. However, the “New York Times” says a number of former national security officials say the way the memo was written suggests it may have been intended to justify the trump administration’s inaction. Joining us now is retired U.S. Army brigadier general don Bolduc who served in Afghanistan. He was wanted by both the Taliban and Al Qaeda and also a Republican candidate for the senate, and general, thanks so much for taking the time with us. You found out when you were in
combat that there was a cash reward for anyone who killed you. Fast-forward to now. How important is it for the U.S. To get to the bottom of these current bounty allegations? Veracity, and whether any American casualties occurred as a direct result?
>> Well, good evening. You know, tonight, of course it is really important — really, my main message tonight is that the political divisiveness between the two parties on the bounty issue must stop. This is not a Democrat problem or a Republican problem. This is an American problem, and I know if I was down range right now in Afghanistan, I would be saying, we must set aside this finger-pointing and beckering and deliver a unified message to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and any other nation including Russia who wants to do us harm, wants to do our service members harm they’ll pay a huge price and this is what we are as service members and what we owe
>> For just a moment, can you tell us more about your own situation? The bounty on your life and how did you find out about it and how in the world do you even process that?
>> Yes. Well, we found out about it while it was, the first rotation and every rotation after that I did ten tours in Afghanistan. Total of 66 months there in Afghanistan. Along with all other kinds of special operation force guys who had the same kind of bounties. Both of my brothers had bounties on their heads. So this is part of the operational environment in Afghanistan. And it is part of this unconventional environment. And we just use our common sense, we use our training, and we, you know, deal with it. And it is, we usually discover it, because we capture somebody, and they tell us. We find pocket litter, and we have it translated and it’s there, or we intercept it.
In signals. And we hear it point blank from them. Right? And, you know, that’s how it’s done. We have 18 to 21 intelligence organizations, I’ve lost count now. If we expect them all to be on the same sheet of music before we decide to do something we’re going to be waiting quite a while. This requires leadership. It requires unit.
>> So do you believe these reports about the bounties recently? Because president trump calls them a hoax.
>> Well, you know, I don’t have access to the intelligence, but, you know, nothing would surprise me in this environment. Particularly knowing in my own mind what, you know, not only Russia but China’s objectives are in Afghanistan. And, you know, I mean, they want free reign in there to take over resources in Afghanistan and can only do this if the
international community gets out of their way. The way to handle this is through diplomatic means directly with Russia and putting out a strong message. You know, Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban, they get outside support financially. So it’s not I would say — you know, out of the realm that this is happening.
>> I mentioned earlier you were running for senate in the state of New Hampshire and first one to say you are not a political person but here you are with your hat in the ring during a time when the country is so deeply divided on party lines. General, the president is hold ag rally in Portsmouth next weekend. Will up attend and do you support his decision to keep holding these rallies despite the potential threat to public health?
>> So I think it’s great that the president of the united States is coming to new Hampshire. It just goes to show how important New Hampshire is in this election.
And I think it’s great for people to see and hear the president. We, of course, need to take the proper safety precautions. Yes, I will be there, taking the proper safety precautions with everybody else there. And —
>> Like what?
>> For me it looks like social distancing. It looks like wearing masks when it is appropriate. And I think that is, you know what we owe each other in this, you know, in this very, you know, dangerous time of the virus. And — but we still have to move this country forward. We still have to get our economy moving forward, and leaders get out and assume risk, and if you’re going to be a leader you have to assume risk and you have to get your message out there, and you have to rally the country in moving forward.
>> Brigadier general Donald Bolduc. Thank you for take the time.
>> Thank you very much. Ana, my 5-year-old grandgranddaughter
this I’m on the air with Ana from “Frozen.” Thought I was coming on with Ana Cabrera, she asked was a Ana from “Frozen.” Hurricane Hadley I call her. God bless you and everybody there and happy fourth of July weekend.
>> Happy fourth of July. I would love to pretend I’m princess Ana. My daughter is 4 1/2 and a big “Frozen” fan as well andGenreNews / Interview / Politics