President Trump says peace talks with the Taliban are "dead," after he called off a meeting with the Taliban and Afghan government leaders that was supposed to take place at Camp David over the weekend.
"They're dead, they're dead. As far as I'm concerned, they are dead," Mr. Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn Monday.
Critics chastised the president after he announced— but it was the fact that a meeting with the Taliban had been scheduled at Camp David just days before the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks many found shocking. The president reiterated to reporters on the White House South Lawn Monday that it was his plan to hold the secret talks, and his plan to cancel them.
The president said he called off the talks because the Taliban had killed a U.S. soldier and others a few days before the planned meeting.
"You can't do that. You can't do that with me," the president told reporters.
Asked about the location in question, Camp David, the president said the alternative was having the Taliban to the White House.
"The alternative was the White House, and you wouldn't have been happy with that either," the president said.
The Trump administration has been defending the decision to hold and then cancel the Camp David meeting since Mr. Trump's tweet late Saturday that the secret meeting had been scrapped. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the administration is looking for a lasting agreement to end the 18-year war against militants in Afghanistan.
"We thought about this a long time and ultimately the president made the decision that this was the right place. We know the history of Camp David. That's where peace has been negotiated many, many times,"