Trump Cancels a Secret Meeting With the Taliban Days Before 9/11 Anniversary

“I think the timing is just right,” says Mike Pompeo.

Tom Brenner/ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed that he had canceled a secret meeting with Taliban and Afghan leaders that had been scheduled for the next day at Camp David, blaming last week’s Taliban car bombing that killed 12 people, including a US service member, for the abrupt move.

Citing the attack, Trump also said that he was “calling off” peace negotiations altogether. The talks, aimed at ending America’s longest war, had been going on for nearly a year. Trump vowed on the campaign trail to stop “endless wars” in Afghanistan and Syria.

The bombshell revelation—made in three tweets—that the meeting had even been planned was met with both alarm and disbelief. “You brought the Taliban to the United States the week of September 11?” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tweeted, one of many to point to the troubling timing of the now-canceled meeting.

Trump’s stated justification for canceling the clandestine meeting was also questioned. According to officials who spoke to the New York Times, the meeting had been scrapped after it had become increasingly clear that the Taliban was unwilling to bend to US commitments of the deal. 

“Why bring people like that to Camp David?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday. He continued, “I can’t help but think that if a Democratic president had talked about having the Taliban come to Camp David to negotiate a peace process that was not already a done deal, that you as a congressman, as a soldier, as a veteran, as a West Point graduate, that you would be rather upset.” 

“Jake, you’re just wrong about that,” Pompeo responded. “I’ve been fully supportive of this effort…I think the timing is just right. We’ve made enormous progress.”

Despite Pompeo’s confidence, few appeared convinced Sunday morning. “I question the whole idea of holding the meeting on the anniversary of 9/11,” Chris Wallace said during a segment with Karl Rove, as the two discussed Trump’s decision. “All respect to Karl, he talked about this deal was going to bring peace, but it wasn’t going to bring peace.”

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate