JONATHAN ERNST

The Trump administration has for years gathered intelligence about foreign powers, including Russia and Iran, using financial means to support and encourage armed militants in Afghanistan, according to six current and former U.S. intelligence and national security officials. And, those officials said, the president has been briefed about those wide-ranging efforts.

One current senior national security official and two other former officials familiar with intelligence gathering in Afghanistan said the Trump administration has closely tracked ways in which Iran uses cash to support militants in the Haqqani Network who have killed U.S. soldiers.

But when intelligence emerged earlier this year that Russia had concocted a specific plan to pay bounties to mercenaries to kill American soldiers, intelligence and national security leaders did not brief the president in person. A person with knowledge of the situation says that although they are aware that the intelligence has circulated in the White House and…

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