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Donald Trump Tells Hannity America Being 'Set up' by Taliban

Newsweek logo Newsweek 18/08/2021 James Crump

Former President Donald Trump has claimed that the U.S. is "being set up" by the Taliban, days after the Islamic organization took control of Kabul, and effectively gained control of Afghanistan.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: US President Donald Trump waits for a meeting with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2017 in New York City. Former President Donald Trump has claimed that the U.S. is “ being set up by” the Taliban, days after the military organization in Afghanistan took control of Kabul following orders for American troops to leave the region. © Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images US President Donald Trump waits for a meeting with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2017 in New York City. Former President Donald Trump has claimed that the U.S. is “ being set up by” the Taliban, days after the military organization in Afghanistan took control of Kabul following orders for American troops to leave the region.

Trump made the comments during a Tuesday night interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, where he was asked about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan that has seen hundreds of Afghans trying to flee the country by climbing onto military planes after the Taliban took control.

Hannity asked Trump about his dealings with Taliban leaders and the Afghan government as he had prepared to withdraw U.S. military troops from the region during his time in charge.

The troops were officially ordered out of the area by Biden in April and the Taliban took control of the country just a few weeks before they were scheduled to leave on September 11.

Trump claimed that the U.S. is "being set up by" the Taliban, telling Hannity: "I never saw anything so stupid in my life until the last few days with Afghanistan, that blows the stupidity of the southern border away."

He added: "What's happening in Afghanistan is unbelievable and we are being set up by very tough people that are very great negotiators. I'll tell you what, they are automatically great negotiators who have been fighting for a thousand years and everything about them they negotiate.

"We are being set up and in a certain way I guarantee you they consider them to be hostages and let's see what happens over the coming weeks."

Despite Trump's claims that the group had been fighting for thousands of years, the Taliban was only founded in 1994, holding power in a majority of Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, before U.S. forces invaded.

Later in the interview on Tuesday, Trump claimed that he had a "conditions-based agreement" with the Taliban after they agreed a ceasefire with him where if any Americans or allies were harmed then the U.S. would retaliate by bombing parts of the country.

He said that Biden should have got all of the U.S. civilians out of Afghanistan "first", before saying the president's actions have caused "the greatest embarrassment in the history of our country" and adding: "It's a great thing that we're getting out, but nobody has ever handled a withdrawal worse than Joe Biden."

Biden made his first remarks on Afghanistan for a week at the White House on Monday, where he dismissed criticism of his decision to withdraw troops from the region, saying: "If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision."

Biden also noted that he "inherited" a deal from Trump to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, before once again backing the decision, saying: "American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

Newsweek has contacted the White House and representatives of Trump for comment.

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