Julian Castro: Trump’s Cancelled Taliban Meeting at Camp David ‘Another Bizarre Episode’

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By Melanie Arter | September 9, 2019 | 1:14 PM EDT

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – Democratic presidential candidate former HUD Secretary Julian Castro told CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper” on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s decision to meet with the Taliban at Camp David the week before the 9/11 anniversary before cancelling it is “another bizarre episode.”

“This is another bizarre episode, Jake, for two reasons. First of all, I think like most Americans I don't know what to believe anymore that comes out of the mouth or the tweet of this president. Folks will remember that just a few days ago he said that he had been in touch with China, apparently in order to try to calm the markets, and staff later said that that wasn't the case,” Castro said.

“And so the way he tweeted this out, I'm still looking for confirmation that an actual, physical trip to Camp David was planned. But if it was, if it had been planned, that's bizarre as well. Because even though I do support a negotiated political settlement there that will increase stability and make sure that Afghanistan is not used as a base of terrorist operations, it's very odd to invite a terrorist organization like that to Camp David. That's not in keeping with the way that the United States negotiates.

“And, you know, I draw a straight line between this and the fact that he has elevated Kim Jong-Un with three summits now, even though in the first summit - the Singapore summit - Kim Jong-Un promised North Korea would give to the United States an inventory of its weapons so that we could use that as a basis for future negotiations. They never did that, and still at the same time there was a second summit and third summit.

“So, this is the worst president when it comes to negotiating I think that we've had in a very long time. It's another bizarre episode. It's more of his erratic behavior that people are tired of,” Castro said.

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Trump tweeted Saturday, “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. 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.

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“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” the president tweeted.

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“They didn’t, 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?” he tweeted.

 

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