Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's changing stand on the Taliban and US withdrawal from Afghanistan has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on Twitter. In a video montage, the pro-Trump politician is seen describing the Taliban as 'butchers' and 'evil people' on one side, and appreciating their work to 'reduce violence' on the other.
Posted by MSNBC's 'The Mehdi Hasan Show', one video is recent - post the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan - and the other from 2020. The clip is placed in a 'Now' and 'Then' format showing a clear contradiction.
In the 2020 video, Pompeo, who also served as the CIA director from 2017 to 2018, is seen saying that the US has seen the Taliban working diligently to reduce violence. He adds that the Trump administration "has confidence that the Taliban leadership is working to deliver on its commitments."
Mike Pompeo, during his time in office in the Trump administration, headed the negotiations between the Taliban and the United States. He facilitated the February 2020 peace deal signed by both the parties that called for the full withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by May 2021. However, after Donald Trump was replaced by Joe Biden in the White House, the date was pushed to September 11, before finally being brought to August 31.
Pompeo has repeatedly attacked Biden for the way he handled the withdrawal.
"The Biden Administration trusted the Taliban to protect Americans. We never did that. We trusted America to protect America’s interests at every turn," he said in a tweet.
"The Biden Admin has now given the names of Americans to the bad guys. Incomprehensible. It’s naivete of Wilsonian proportions they trusted the Taliban to protect Americans. We never did that. We trusted America to protect America’s interests at every turn," he commented in another.
"The video was liked nearly five thousand times and retweeted 2.6 thousand times. THE ART A DEAL. Why did Pompeo & Trump make a deal with the Taliban over who gets control of Afghanistan after America leaves, without the Afghanistan government even being represented at the meeting? That deal never inculded a Afghan Government, Trump gave Afghan to the Taliban," a Twitter user wrote in the comment section.
"Remember these people NEVER argue in good faith, they will make whatever excuse they can to keep in power and the status quo from changing," another one said.