President Donald Trump is receiving backlash for a sudden announcement of a cancelled meeting with leaders of the Taliban, a violent and fundamentalist political movement, at Camp David during the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The peace talks were aimed at ending the years long conflict in Afghanistan, but were called off after the Taliban—which sheltered Osama Bin Laden for years and championed political violence against the United States—claimed credit for an attack in Kabul that left 12 people, including an American soldier, dead.
Americans aren't blaming Donald Trump for cancelling the meeting, but they are concerned that his administration pursued the meeting at the time and place that it did.
Former Chief Strategist for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney soon weighed in, taking an unlikely side:
"Trump invited the Taliban to camp david. Obama had osama bin laden killed. Enough said."
Trump invited the Taliban to camp david. Obama had osama bin laden killed. Enough said.— Matthew Dowd (@Matthew Dowd)1567965717.0
Obama captured the nation in a national address in April of 2011 when he announced to the world that Osama bin Laden, the orchestrator of the September 11 attacks, had been killed—ten years after 9/11. Trump's invitation of the Taliban to Camp David, where officials gathered in the aftermath of the attacks, was considered by many a slap in the face.
Dowd has been a critic of Trump for some time, lambasting his approach to North Korea and his incessant use of Twitter.
Many agreed with Dowd's stance.
@matthewjdowd @DevinCow “Paling around with terrorists”, I believe is the expression. @SarahPalinUSA @realDonaldTrump #TalibanBuds— March For Democracy (@March For Democracy)1567968945.0
@matthewjdowd @DevinCow R’s were more upset about Obama’s so called spiking of the football vs actual Taliban being invited to the USA.— Yankees Universe (@Yankees Universe)1567970565.0
@matthewjdowd @DevinCow Except the Taliban say it never happened. What is shocking is that it's easier to believe t… https://t.co/QOgAj4lk6X— Daniel Smith (@Daniel Smith)1567971301.0
Dowd wasn't the only one who recognized the hypocrisy.
2008. Sarah Pallin: “Barack Obama is palling around with terrorists.” 2019. Donald Trump invites Taliban to hang… https://t.co/oKPCwrAahQ— stuart stevens (@stuart stevens)1567955512.0
Republicans if Republicans Obama had when trump invited the… https://t.co/VpudpoJ1vK— Ben Wexler (@Ben Wexler)1567971673.0
If Obama had announced he had SECRETLY invited the Taliban to the United States on the eve of 9-11, Republicans wou… https://t.co/o9r47DiwTH— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle)1567900301.0
Someone please remind me what year it was that Obama invited the Taliban onto US soil for an anniversary visit. https://t.co/XUTaybrT9S— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen)1567974494.0
While Republican backlash for Trump is a relatively rare phenomenon, the pursuit of bringing the Taliban onto American soil during the anniversary of September 11 was taking a step too far.
Former speechwriter for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Amanda Carpenter, railed against Trump's announcement on CNN:
"[M]y blood is boiling over this...And I’m left wondering: what was the plan here?...what were they thinking? I really want to know what the plan was before it went haywire.””
One senior Taliban leader said a meeting in Washington was never an option:
“If Trump and his administration think they would solve the confrontation between the government and the Taliban somewhere in Washington in a meeting, that’s not possible because we do not recognize the stooge government.”
A spokesperson for the Taliban has denied that any peace talks were ever going to take place on American soil, leaving many conflicted at whether they should believe a spokesperson for the Taliban or the President of the United States.
@karenamyatt It's horrible that I believe a Taliban spokesperson over the President of the United States. Think ab… https://t.co/9kTyn3B7ik— Ohia Lehua WE NEED HandMarkedPaperBallots (@Ohia Lehua WE NEED HandMarkedPaperBallots)1567983189.0
@karenamyatt @FallacaroJim TMW when you're not sure who to believe... the President of the United States or the Taliban 🤔— phallo (@phallo)1567989806.0
@RockyMntnMike Something is seriously wrong when we question the truthfulness of the President of the United States… https://t.co/QvVhsONwBc— Elle.M.E 🆘 (@Elle.M.E 🆘)1568008297.0
What a mess.
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