Pompeo Addresses Controversy Over Taliban, Camp David

Democrats, Republicans rip Trump's invitation
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2019 1:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mike Pompeo says he supported President Trump's invitation to Taliban leaders to attend peace talks at Camp David. "If you’re going to negotiate peace, you often have to deal with some pretty bad actors," the secretary of state said on ABC's This Week, per the Washington Post. "I know the history, too, at Camp David, and indeed President Trump reflected on that. Some pretty bad actors have traveled through that place throughout recorded history." Trump said he called, then canceled a secret meeting at the presidential mountain retreat for Sunday, which was to include Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Trump's decision to cancel was welcomed in Afghanistan, per the Post. "Everyone was afraid the US would sign a cease-fire but the Taliban would continue their war" against the Afghan people, one analyst said. The Taliban said it was prepared to sign a peace deal with the US but would now continue fighting.

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Democrats and Republicans objected to the invitation. Rep. Alan Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted: per the Hill: "Never should leaders of a terrorist organization that hasn’t renounced 9/11 and continues in evil be allowed in our great country. NEVER." Rep. Liz Cheney, leader of the GOP Conference, praised Trump's decision to call the talks off but tweeted that "Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response" to the 9/11 attacks. "No member of the Taliban should set foot there," she said. Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro called the invitation "more of this erratic behavior that people are tired of." Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also a candidate, said it was "another example of the president treating foreign policy like some kind of game show." (The US envoy said a peace agreement is near.)

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