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President Donald Trump announced that he was planning to secretly meet with Taliban leaders at Camp David on Sunday.
“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday. They were coming to the United States tonight,” he wrote in a series of tweets.
He said his plans were only thwarted by the military organization’s decision to accept responsibility for a deadly car bombing attack near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of 12 people, including an American soldier.
“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?” Trump wrote.
....an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2019
....only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2019
Even though Trump himself has said the Taliban facilitated 9/11–which claimed the lives of 2,997 people–he was set to meet with leadership only three days before the anniversary of 9/11.
“While @BarackObama is slashing the military, he is also negotiating with our sworn enemy the Taliban–who facilitated 9/11,” Trump wrote in 2012.
While @BarackObama is slashing the military, he is also negotiating with our sworn enemy the Taliban--who facilitated 9/11.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2012
U.S. diplomats have been reportedly in ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban for months, finally reaching a deal “on principle,” which was heavily criticized as not adequate enough. In response, Trump decided to invite the Taliban to U.S. soil to sort the issue himself.
The revelation of Trump’s plans led the hashtag #TalibanTrump to trend.
“So, @realDonaldTrump was going to fly Taliban terrorists to Camp David but didn’t because he found out the Taliban kill people?” TV show host Montel Williams wrote.
In July, a video circulated, in which the Taliban justified the 9/11 attacks, blaming America’s “interventionist policies.”
“What could #TalibanTrump get from having a secret meeting with them? Trump: I had a wonderful secret meeting with the Taliban. They are really nice people. They assured me they had nothing to do with 7/11…. and I believe them. Will have to do it again. It was a blast!” one user wrote, mocking Trump.
So Trump's way of observing the anniversary of 9/11 was to invite the people who were responsible for that terrorist attack to hang with him in Camp David. #TalibanTrump— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) September 8, 2019
What could #TalibanTrump get from having a secret meeting with them?— Leonard Roldan (@leonard_roldan) September 8, 2019
Trump: I had a wonderful secret meeting with the Taliban. They are really nice people. They assured me they had nothing to do with 7/11.... and I believe them. Will have to do it again. It was a blast!
Others are pointing out Trump’s hypocrisy after he criticized former President Barack Obama for trying to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban during his term.
“Boy, these tweets are not aging well,” Twitter user @americanbozos wrote about Trump’s old tweets.
If @BarackObama ever invited the Taliban to Camp David during the week of 9/11...— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) September 8, 2019
My point is that Republicans are hypocrites who will never criticize President Trump no matter what he does.
Obama killed the leader of the taliban, not met with him. #TalibanTrump— K-Lub (@HonkeyCat_) September 8, 2019
During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stood by Trump’s decision.
“We’re trying to get this accomplished. The American people are demanding it,” Pompeo said. “We have an obligation to do everything we can … We understand who the Taliban are. There’s no more clear-eyed an administration.”
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Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.