Trump: We won't talk with the Taliban

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE on Monday said his administration won’t engage in talks with the Taliban after the terrorist group claimed responsibility for a pair of recent attacks that killed more than 100 people.

“When we see what they’re doing and the atrocities that they’re committing, and killing their own people, and those people are women and children — many, many women and children that are totally innocent — it is horrible,” Trump said during a meeting with members of the United Nations Security Council.

“So there’s no talking to the Taliban. We don’t want to talk to the Taliban. We’re going to finish what we have to finish,” Trump added. 

Trump’s comments appear to contradict the strategy pushed by military officials in his administration.


Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Does ‘limited war’ mean limited risks for aggressors? US-led coalition says it struck Syrian mosque used by ISIS MORE last September said the U.S. would take a “holistic” approach with no set deadlines to defeat the Taliban.

“I want to reinforce to the Taliban that the only path to peace and political legitimacy for them is through a negotiated settlement,” Mattis said.

Other military and foreign policy advisers proposed last summer expanding military involvement in Afghanistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

Trump's comments on Monday come after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday that killed roughly 100 people and injured many others.

Trump condemned the attack and called for all countries to “take decisive action against the Taliban.”

Taliban militants were also responsible for an attack earlier this month at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, where 22 people were killed, including four Americans.

More than 150 people escaped the hotel during the hours-long siege.

The Trump administration is considering whether to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan amid new security threats. The total number of U.S. troops in the country has risen under Trump from 8,500 to 14,000.