KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his national security team has been receiving payments from the U.S. government for 10 years.
Karzai confirmed the payments on Monday when he was asked about a story published in The New York Times saying the CIA had given the Afghan National Security Council tens of millions of dollars in monthly payments delivered in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags.
During a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, Karzai said the welcome monthly payments were not a "big amount" but were a "small amount," although he did not disclose the sums. He says they were used to give assistance to the wounded and sick, to pay rent for housing and for other "operational" purposes.
The CIA declined to comment on the newspaper report.