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The GOP quietly removed a webpage hailing Trump's peace deal with the Taliban as the militant group seized power in Afghanistan

Business Insider logo Business Insider 8/16/2021 tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Donald Trump, Ashraf Ghani, Mark A. Milley posing for a photo: Then-President Donald Trump at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File © AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File Then-President Donald Trump at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
  • The GOP has removed a page hailing Trump's 2020 deal with the Taliban.
  • The removal was made on Sunday, amid scenes of chaos in Kabul as the Taliban seized back power.
  • Both Trump and Biden have sought to blame each other for the debacle.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Republican Party has removed a page from its website that praised former President Donald Trump's peace deal with the Taliban and bid to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.

The webpage, which was first posted on the Republican National Committee's website during last year's presidential election, had hailed Trump's foreign policy achievements. An archived version of the page can be found here.

The internet-archive site Wayback Machine noted that the page was removed on August 15, as chaotic scenes emerged from Kabul of US forces evacuating officials from its embassy as Taliban militants seized back control of the country.

Here is a screenshot of the archived version of the webpage, which was recorded on Wayback Machine:

graphical user interface, text, application, Word: An archived version of a Republican National Committee webpage that touted former President Donald Trump's peace deal with the Taliban. RNC via Wayback Machine © RNC via Wayback Machine An archived version of a Republican National Committee webpage that touted former President Donald Trump's peace deal with the Taliban. RNC via Wayback Machine

And here's what it looked like as of Monday morning:

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Screenshot taken on August 16, 2021, showing an error message on a page that previously praised Trump's withdrawal deal with the Taliban. RNC © RNC Screenshot taken on August 16, 2021, showing an error message on a page that previously praised Trump's withdrawal deal with the Taliban. RNC

The apparent removal of the page was first highlighted by the Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel. The RNC did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The page had praised Trump's attempts to end the US' two-decade military involvement in Afghanistan, describing how he "continued to take the lead in peace talks as he signed a historic peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which would end America's longest war."

It was referring to a February 2020 conditional peace deal between Trump and the Taliban, which committed the US to cutting the number of troops in Afghanistan if the Taliban did not provide support to terrorist groups.

The page went on to claim that Trump's rival, now-President Joe Biden, had a "history of pushing for endless wars" and listed times he had called for more troops to be deployed in Afghanistan.

The RNC pushed back against the claim that the page was removed in response to events in Afghanistan, saying that it was in fact removed as part of a process started last week of transferring old posts to their new website.

"This is so dishonest. We launched a new website last week… some of the old posts haven't been carried over yet. Go look… all blog/research pieces from years ago aren't there. But good try attempting to divert attention from the folks actually in charge of this disaster," tweeted Mike Reed, deputy chief of staff at the RNC.

Biden had remained committed to withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan while in office, pledging earlier this year to complete the pullout by September 11 despite the Taliban's rapidly gathering gaining strength and seizing back swaths of territory from embattled Afghan security forces.

Observers have drawn parallels between the US' withdrawal from Afghanistan with its shambolic retreat from Saigon in 1975 after its defeat in the Vietnam War.

Trump had made his pledge to end America's so-called "forever wars" in the Middle East and Central Asia one of the centerpieces of his reelection campaign last year. Biden had long opposed US involvement in Afghanistan, though on the campaign trail he signaled that he was considering keeping a small US military presence in the country, a decision he later reversed.

But as the Taliban routed the Afghan army and swept back into power just weeks after the US withdrew most of its forces on July 8, both Trump and Biden have been seeking to blame each other for the crisis.

Trump has called on Biden to resign, claiming that he failed to follow Trump's withdrawal plan. Biden has said that Trump's Taliban deal left him with little option but to fully withdraw US troops.

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