The Taliban has officially endorsed President Donald Trump as their preferred candidate for the 2020 presidential election. On Friday, two spokesmen for the Taliban told CBS News that they hope Trump will win the election next month, feeling that their goals are aligned. Trump's campaign spokesman has denounced this endorsement, though the president himself has not commented on it publicly.
"We believe that Trump is going to win the upcoming election because he has proved himself a politician who accomplished all the major promises he had made to American people, although he might have missed some small things, but did accomplish the bigger promises, so it is possible that the U.S. people who experienced deceptions in the past will once again trust Trump for his decisive actions," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. "We think the majority of the American population is tired of instability, economic failures and politicians' lies and will trust again on Trump because Trump is decisive, could control the situation inside the country."
Gems in this piece:
1. Taliban noted it thinks highly of Trump's "America first" creed.
2. "Trump was much more honest with us than we thought..stunned with his offer to meet in Camp David”
3. “Trump might be ridiculous for rest of the world, but..sane & wise man for Taliban” https://t.co/s0OReIiyh7— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) October 10, 2020
"Other politicians, including Biden, chant unrealistic slogans," Mujahid went on. "Some other groups, which are smaller in size but are involved in the military business including weapons manufacturing companies' owners and others who somehow get the benefit of war extension, they might be against Trump and support Biden, but their numbers among voters is low."
The Taliban's enthusiastic support for Trump is likely rooted in his goal of removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 19 years of non-stop war, though so far the president has not achieved this long-held promise. The Taliban is a militant group of Sunni Islamic fundamentalists, with the goal of enforcing Sharia, or religious law throughout Afghanistan. They have been compared to the German Nazis of World War II, and fought against U.S. forces after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
The Trump campaign's Tim Murtaugh said on Saturday that they "reject" this support from the Taliban, adding: "The Taliban should know that the president will always protect American interests by any means necessary."
The Trump administration signed a pact with the Taliban in February, agreeing to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the spring of 2021, so long as the Taliban negotiates an adequate power-sharing deal with rival powers in the region. However, the Taliban spoke highly of Trump's domestic work as well — particularly his "America first" philosophy.0comments
"It is the slogan of Trump from the start that they are not cops for the world and don't want a single flag and anthem for the globe, but their priority is America," Mujahid said. "When there is no interference by U.S. in other countries, we believe they are facing fewer threats compared to their aggressive position. Trump has a concrete policy in this regard and it is better for America. Honestly, Trump was much more honest with us than we thought, even we were stunned with his offer to meet Taliban in Camp David."
Another senior Taliban leader told CBS News: "Trump might be ridiculous for the rest of the world, but he is sane and wise man for the Taliban."