Dem Rep. Adam Schiff: ‘We should continue negotiating with Taliban’

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/representative-schiff-says-trump-should-continue-negotiating-with-the-taliban/
Screen capture … Margaret Brennan and Rep, Adam Schiff (D) on “Face the Nation” … Credit: CBS

On Sunday, House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff criticized President Trump’s decision to call-off secret negotiations with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders.

Appearing on “Face the Nation,” Schiff chose to contradict a passel of self-righteous leftists who claimed Trump’s willingness to talk with the Taliban as unpatriotic. For instance, NBC’s Joe Scarborough wrote, “Trump’s Taliban invite is one of the most shameful moments of his presidency.”

“The foolishness of inviting the Taliban to Camp David cannot be overstated,” tweeted David Rothkopf, CEO of TRG Media. “Not only are they terrorists but the deal we are headed toward will not be one that Trump can tout. It will be, all signs indicated, damn near a surrender after 18 years of war.”

But instead of a frontal assault on the issue of talking with the Taliban in the first place, Schiff attacked the President from the rear. “I don’t think the negotiations should have been called off because of an ill-planned, ill-prepared summit and it falling apart,” the Democrat said. “At the end of the day there’s only going to be one way to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan, and that’s through the negotiation.”

Schiff’s angle was claiming more was needed from the negotiation as a return than what was being reported. “We should secure more than Taliban promises, in that negotiation, in exchange for a draw-down of American troops,” he told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan. “We have to insist on at least a partial cease-fire so that we can see that the Taliban are both willing but also able to control their own elements.”

Early in September, the President revealed that he called off a Camp David meeting with Taliban leaders after they admitted that an attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier and 11 others was intended to create leverage in the talks.

“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,” Trump tweeted on September 7. “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. 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?”

Schiff also commented on the confirmation on Saturday by Trump that Al Qaeda terrorist Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, was killed.

“Good riddance. I think this is someone of great symbolic value to Al-Qaeda,” said Schiff.

Brennan asked how he had been killed.

“I can’t go into the specifics more than what the White House has disclosed but it shows they have acknowledged that this was in the AfPak region. It shows the continuing importance of that region to Al-Qaeda. It also shows the importance of the region to us in terms of our security, that we need to maintain some footprint or some guarantee that Al-Qaeda won’t resurge in the area. But he was not, I think, a leader–a current leader of Al-Qaeda in an operational sense. So I think if his name wasn’t Bin Laden it wouldn’t have had the same impact–but nonetheless an important step in terms of taking more of the leadership of Al-Qaeda off the battlefield.”

Watch the “Face the Nation” segment …


Video by CBS

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Victor Rantala

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