Trump: We won't talk with the Taliban

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth care moves to center stage in Dem primary fight Meghan McCain shares video of father shutting down supporter who called Obama an 'Arab' after Trump rally Graham: Every Republican president or nominee 'will be accused of being a racist' 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 MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Trump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey 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.