This Star Tribune article points out that it is no surprise the Russians were paying bounties to Taliban fighters for killing US military personnel in Afghanistan. Indeed it shouldn’t be. However, the “special” relationship between The Donald and the Russian Federation is the stuff of lore. Investigations into Russian meddling to the benefit of Trump’s electoral campaign are ongoing. Trump has significant business ventures in Russia.
It can be argued Trump knew about the bounties long before the public found out. I’m not sure what would be considered prudent in such a situation. Should the truth be immediately released? The result would be public anger directed at Russia. It would also be more difficult for intelligence to fully investigate and/or catch Russian agents attempting to do just that.
It’s almost as if there is some greater power influencing these men. If the Taliban really wanted the US to leave they would just go back to the Pakistani Unadministered Territories across Kyber Pass and wait. The US would eventually get bored and go home. Bounties fit with der totale krieg efforts that of the past two decades.