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Mike Pence blasts media for lying about Trump’s peace talks with Taliban
Vice President Mike Pence called out the “Fake News” on Monday for spreading lies about scuttled peace negotiations between President Donald Trump and the Taliban.
Pence may not be known for his confrontational style, but the vice president echoed his boss’s blunt criticism of the “dishonest media” after journalists reported that Trump planned the meetings over Pence’s objection.
Pence quote-tweeted Trump and confirmed that he was in complete agreement with Trump’s initial decision to meet with Taliban leaders at Camp David. “That’s Absolutely Right Mr. President. More Fake News! The Dishonest Media never contacted our office before running with this story and if they had, we would have told them I FULLY support your decision,” he tweeted.
Pence blasts “Fake News”
In a tweet Saturday, President Trump revealed that he had canceled a planned secret meeting with Taliban leaders and Afghan officials after the Taliban admitted to carrying out a terrorist attack in Kabul that killed an American and 11 others. Trump also said that he was suspending peace talks indefinitely over the attack.
The tweet prompted the media to contrive a fresh scandal on the heels of “Sharpiegate,” in which journalists obsessed over a Hurricane Dorian map that Trump displayed in the Oval Office for several days, as the media, Democrats, and hawkish Republicans attacked Trump just for propositioning a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David in the first place, particularly given the close coincidence in time to 9/11.
On Monday, Trump blasted the “Fake News” after NBC reported that Trump had invited the Taliban to meet over the objections of Pence and national security adviser John Bolton, the Iraq War architect who Trump unceremoniously fired on Tuesday. NBC reported that Pence opposed the invitation because it would be disrespectful to American soldiers who have fought the Taliban for almost twenty years.
Trump accused the media of trying to “create the look of turmoil” in his administration, tweeting:
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! I always think it is good to meet and talk, but in this case I decided not to. The Dishonest Media likes to create the look of turmoil in the White House, of which there is none. I view much of the media as simply an arm of the Democrat Party.”
Media goes nuts over Afghan peace talks
Trump campaigned on ending wars in the Middle East, and he has long sought a withdrawal from Afghanistan. He initially announced a withdrawal in December, prompting James Mattis to resign from the Cabinet in protest. The Camp David meeting was reportedly the culmination of months of talks that would have led to a significant drawdown of U.S. troops in the country.
The media reaction to the Camp David flap follows a now-familiar pattern. With reliable hostility, the media is attacking Trump’s efforts to break the status quo and try different ways to secure peaceful solutions that have long eluded the so-called “experts,” who have almost invariably favored intractable wars and interventions with no clear national interest to the United States.
When Trump abruptly announced a since-sidelined plan to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria in December, many in the media and the Democratic party reacted with profound hostility to Trump’s departure from the “expert” advice of the “adults in the room,” like Mattis. Once again, many in the liberal establishment, and even at Fox News, seem more bothered by the fact that Trump attempted to strike a peace deal with the Taliban than by the fact that peace talks to end an 18-year war have fallen apart, as independent journalist Michael Tracey ably puts it.
Much like the media’s frivolous and malicious coverage of Hurricane Dorian, which has dedicated significant attention to a manufactured scandal over a sharpie pen, the media is now contriving more outrage to smother any attempt to change U.S. foreign policy to actually help Americans — all out of sheer reactive malice towards the president. Trump and Pence are right: the media really is an arm of the Democratic party, and they’re not trying to hide it anymore.
Trump’s firing of Bolton, which was first reported by Curt Mills of The American Conservative before the New York Times, Washington Post or any liberal media, may now open the possibility of a course correction. But in the meantime, a peace deal for Afghanistan seems to remain elusive — not that the media is troubled by that.
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