Trump Says Secret Meeting With Taliban, Afghan Leaders in U.S. on Sunday Cancelled

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday evening that he previously had a secretly-planned meeting Sunday with leaders from both the Taliban and Afghanistan at Camp David, but they have ultimately been cancelled.

The president said the Taliban leaders were to arrive in the United States on Saturday night, but "in order to build false leverage," they admitted to an attack that killed one American soldier and 11 others in Kabul.

"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," the president wrote. "Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to 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."

President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters following a briefing from officials about Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office at the White House September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump was briefed by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz and Deputy Assistant to the President and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Peter Brown Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The president questioned what kind of "leaders" would "kill so many people" to strengthen their bargaining power.

"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?"

The Associated Press reported this week that a Taliban spokesperson said its militant group took responsibility for a bombing Monday that killed 12 people in Kabul. The Hill reported that the White House has been negotiating with the Taliban for several months, but that the Taliban said it would not work with the Afghan leaders as they felt the Afghans were controlled by the American government.

"[W]e understand that peace talks are going on ... but they must also understand that we are not weak and if we enter into talks ... we enter from a strong position," the spokesperson told AP.

After the reported attack by the Taliban, five by security forces in Afghanistan.
The Trump administration has stated in several weeks prior to now it plans to withdraw 5,000 troops in lieu of a peace exchange.

The White House did not respond to comments Saturday night regarding the report, but Trump said during his 2016 presidential campaign that pulling American troops from Afghanistan would be on his agenda.

The United States reportedly has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, and Republican leaders have pressured Trump into leaving as many troops there as possible, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

This story is developing and more details will publish.

Trump Says Secret Meeting With Taliban, Afghan Leaders in U.S. on Sunday Cancelled | U.S.