Trump accuses press of manufacturing 'turmoil' over Taliban meeting

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE said Monday that he didn’t “overrule” Vice President Pence and other advisers by setting up a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David, accusing the press of trying to manufacture a portrait of “turmoil” in the White House.

“A lot of Fake News is being reported that I overruled the VP and various advisers on a potential Camp David meeting with the Taliban. This Story is False!” Trump tweeted Monday.

Trump was reacting to reports by NBC News and other outlets that Pence and national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump unleashed: President moves with a free hand post-impeachment Barr back on the hot seat The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE were staunchly opposed to the idea of holding a meeting in Washington with Taliban leaders.

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Trump used a familiar attack on the media, calling the press “dishonest” and accusing reporters of attempting to create “the look of turmoil in the White House, of which there is none.”

Trump also said he views the media as “an arm of the Democratic Party.”

Pence also tweeted his displeasure with the reports, stating on Twitter that he fully supported Trump's decision and that the media never contacted him.

Pence's tweet was similar in tone to tweets from Trump, which provoked additional scrutiny of the tweet on social media. 

 

Trump revealed on Twitter late Saturday that he had scrapped a secret meeting at Camp David with representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government that had been scheduled for Sunday after the insurgent group claimed credit for a suicide car bombing in Kabul that killed a dozen people, including a U.S. soldier.

Trump also said he was calling off negotiations with the Taliban, accusing the militant group of trying to create “false leverage” by carrying out the suicide attack.

Trump has faced criticism from Democrats and Republicans over the planned meeting, which would have come days before the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Many have argued that members of the Taliban, which is responsible for many American deaths, should not be allowed to enter the United States, let alone Camp David.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDonald Trump: Unrepentant, on the attack and still playing the victim US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Kobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump MORE did the rounds on Sunday's news shows, defending the plans as an attempt to secure an agreement to end America’s longest war.

Trump has long said he plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and his administration has been negotiating with the Taliban over a possible peace agreement for several months. While the two sides appeared close to securing an agreement, the developments over the weekend seemed to jettison the possibility of a deal, at least in the near term.

“If the Taliban can't live up to their commitments, if they're going to continue to do the things that they've been doing — and as we approached this decision point in the discussions with the Afghans, they blow up Kabul and kill an American — President Trump will never do that,” Pompeo said on “CBS This Morning.”