Politicians on both sides of the aisle are speaking out against President Donald Trump’s now-canceled peace talks with Taliban leaders at Camp David, which were set to take place Sunday just before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In a round of cable news interviews and Twitter posts, lawmakers rebuked Trump, who tweeted on Saturday that members of the terror group were supposed to travel to the U.S. for negotiations. Trump said he had planned to meet separately with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“To me, this is just no way to conduct foreign policy,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told CNN on Sunday, agreeing that the U.S. should be engaged in talks with both the Taliban and the Afghan government, but calling Trump’s move a “hastily arranged summit which no one knew was happening.”
“The whole thing doesn’t quite make sense to me, and it’s just another example of the president treating foreign policy like it’s some kind of game show,” the 2020 presidential hopeful added. “This isn’t a game show, these are terrorists.”
“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” he asked, despite the organization’s long history of such violence.
In Klobuchar’s view, the talks were doomed from the start and would have done more harm than good.
“The way he conducts foreign policy just reminds me exactly of North Korea,” she said, referring to Trump’s unprecedented meetings with its leader, Kim Jong Un. “He loves the showmanship, he wants to have that moment, but then all the details aren’t done, and we end up in a worse place on the world stage than we were before.”
Echoing Klobuchar’s point, Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under the Obama administration, called Trump’s planned negotiations “very odd,” drawing a parallel to his “elevation” of Kim with several summits.
“It’s another bizarre episode,” Castro said. “It’s more of his erratic behavior that people are tired of, and that’s one of the reasons I believe that he’s going to lose in 2020.”
Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), another presidential contender, also denounced Trump’s actions, noting that to this day, first responders are still dying from the detrimental health effects they faced at ground zero.
His message came in reaction to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who tweeted, “Never should leaders of a terrorist organization that hasn’t renounced 9/11 and continues in evil be allowed in our great country.”
Kinzinger wasn’t the only Republican to take a stand on the matter. In a statement of her own, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said under no circumstances should Taliban leaders be welcomed to Camp David.
Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who ditched the Republican Party in July over its transformation under Trump, later chimed in on the criticism, asking, “How about we end the war without inviting the Taliban to dinner on the week of 9/11?”