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How Trump Half-Assed His Big Camp David Peace Talks With The Taliban

What would have been one of the biggest headline-grabbing moments of his tenure was put together on the spur of the moment and then canceled on the spur of the moment, the New York Times reported.

Well, he doesn't think like a president. He thinks like a reality show producer: How to get the best bits on TV? How to grab the spotlight? What outrageous thing can he manufacture to get attention?

"Here's a great idea: Invite the Taliban to Camp David! I'll look like a statesman!"

Nah, dude. No one will ever mistake you for a statesman.

"We're learning more about the secret meeting the president learned on Twitter that it was cancelled. The meeting would have happened yesterday, just days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11," Mika Brzezinski said on Morning Joe today.

"The president says he canceled the meeting after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a bombing in Kabul last Thursday that killed an American soldier and 11 others. Trump tweeted in part, 'What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn't. They only made it worse. If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don't have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway.'

"U.S. officials tell NBC news that the discussions about the meeting with Taliban leaders began about a week ago. President Trump first decided to hold a meeting with the group and the president of Afghanistan in Washington but later came up with the idea of hosting them at Camp David. As the New York Times notes, what would have been one of the biggest headline-grabbing moments of his tenure was put together on the spur of the moment and then canceled on the spur of the moment.

"The usual National Security Council process was dispensed with, only a small circle of advisers was even clued in. National security adviser John Bolton vehemently opposed meeting with the Taliban. And Bolton had an ally in Vice President Mike Pence. Officials and people familiar with the matter tell NBC news that among the concerns of administration officials who oppose the meeting was that it might take place around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Pence argued at one point that such a meeting could send the wrong message to members of the U.S. military who have fought and been killed by the Taliban for years, one senior administration official said.

"Another concern among some administration officials was that elevating the negotiations to a meeting with the president at Camp David might later embarrass Trump if the meeting fell apart."

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