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Menendez, Schumer slam Trump for planned Taliban meeting

2019-09-08

(R) Senator Chuck Schumer and (L) Senator Bob Menendez hold press conference on Sunday. (Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News)

Sens. Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer slammed President Trump for planning to host Taliban leaders at Camp David, Md., on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

“I don’t know how you bring the perpetrators or the ones that gave refuge to the perpetrators of September 11th — as we approach the 18th anniversary — to Camp David when they are in the midst of conducting attacks which created the death of an American,“ Menendez said at an unrelated press conference Sunday. “It was ill-conceived in the first place. It’s another example of the Trump administration foreign policy, which is a high-wire act.”

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Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had no advanced knowledge of the planned meeting, which Trump cancelled Saturday.

Schumer remarked, “When Trump takes over, things get messed up.

“For the U.S. to meet with the Taliban and not have the leader of Afghanistan ... that is doomed to failure," the New York Dem added.

Schumer also took Trump’s cabinet members to task.

“Where are the Pompeos that say you have to do this before you move forward?” he said. “But we know what’s happening. Trump wants to do something [and] no one tells him no. And inevitably, like in North Korea and like in Europe, it gets messed up.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the president’s plans Sunday.

Trump “believed we could further America’s national interest by having conversations with the people who have the capacity to actually deliver," Pompeo said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump said he cancelled his secret plans to host Taliban leaders at Camp David after the militant group claimed responsibility for a Kabul bomb attack that killed 11 people, including a U.S. soldier.

The Taliban said Sunday that Trump’s decision to cancel the meeting “will lead to more losses to the U.S.,” according to Reuters.

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