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While the alleged Taliban’s endorsement has seen Trump’s critics declaring an open season on the president, his own campaign was quick to reject the apparent accolade.
“The Taliban should know that the president will always protect American interests by any means necessary,” Trump’s campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.
Under a deal with the militant group, the US agreed to a complete withdrawal of combat troops by spring 2021, pulling out forces in stages as the Afghan government works toward a long-term ceasefire with the Taliban. Trump has always rallied behind a full withdrawal of forces, saying as recently as Wednesday that all US soldiers in Afghanistan could be home by Christmas, although this timeline appears to be at odds with that of the US military brass.
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