The Taliban is denying reports that they endorsed Donald Trump for reelection in the upcoming presidential election. CBS News reported on Saturday (Oct. 10) that Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid endorsed Trump during a phone interview and quoted him saying, “We hope he will win the election and wind up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.”
The news outlet reported that the spokesperson also expressed concerned for the United States president’s health after he tested positive for COVID-19, saying: “When we heard about Trump being Covid-19 positive, we got worried for his health, but seems he is getting better.”
The Taliban spokesperson took to Twitter to share a “clarification” regarding the statement. “US news outlet @CBSNews has interpreted & published my remarks incorrectly. Nothing of the sort has been communicated as publicized by them,” Mujahid wrote.
CBS News also added an editor’s note to the story saying that they wrongly attributed to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid and that the quote was said by another senior Taliban leader during their call.
The Taliban senior leader reportedly told CBS News in the phone interview, “We believe that Trump is going to win the upcoming election because he has proved himself a politician who accomplished all the major promises he had made to American people, although he might have missed some small things, but did accomplish the bigger promises, so it is possible that the U.S. people who experienced deceptions in the past will once again trust Trump for his decisive actions.”
Trump’s campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh announced that they “reject” the Taliban’s support. “The Taliban should know that the president will always protect American interests by any means necessary,” Murtaugh said on Saturday. Trump tweeted on Thursday (Oct. 8) that he plans on withdrawing the remaining 5,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Christmas, ending 19 years of U.S. military presence in the country—a move the Taliban approves of.
“We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas,” Trump tweeted.
The senior Taliban member reportedly told CBS News, “Trump might be ridiculous for the rest of the world, but he is sane and wise man for the Taliban.”