CNN anchor Jake Tapper blasted former U.S Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and other former Trump officials on Thursday for their “attempted memory hole” of former President Donald Trump’s negotiations and peace agreement with the Taliban, calling it “insulting to everyone.”
Amid the sudden collapse of the Afghan government following American troop withdrawals, which has resulted in Americans and Afghan allies scrambling to leave as the Taliban takes over, Republicans and Trumpworld figures have sought to place all of the blame for the evacuation crisis squarely on the Biden administration.
At the same time, they’ve either sidestepped their own personal roles in negotiating the withdrawal from Afghanistan with the Taliban, have engaged in complete revisionist history, or quietly tried to pretend it all never happened.
Haley, following the lead of her other Trump administration compatriots, ripped the Biden administration this week for engaging in diplomacy with the Taliban, saying “negotiating with the Taliban is like dealing with the devil”—seemingly ignoring her former boss’s lengthy talks with the group (or her own past statements supporting negotiations).
Interviewing his colleague Tapper on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s New Day, co-anchor John Berman noted that the idea of dealing with the Taliban while attempting to evacuate Americans and allies from Afghanistan has “ironically… upset some Republicans,” adding that Haley was around when Trump began to talk with the Taliban.
“There is this attempt to memory hole the last four years under President Trump of an attempt to have a peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban,” Tapper responded, adding that Haley even praised the start of the “peace process” with the group in Jan. 2018.
“Look, I’m not faulting the Trump administration for attempting to achieve some sort of peace deal with the Taliban,” the CNN star remarked. “I mean, you don’t make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies. That’s how peace deals work.”
Tapper continued: “But there is this attempt by former Secretary Pompeo, Vice President Pence, Trump is all over the map on this, Nikki Haley, et cetera, and their supporters in Congress to pretend that there is something demonstrably different about what Biden did than what Trump would have done.”
The Lead anchor went on to say that the Trump administration shouldn’t be blamed for trying to strike a peace deal with the Taliban, though one could argue over their exclusion of the Afghan government and other decisions in the process.
“But the issue is not that they were trying to make peace with the Taliban. The issue is they are now pretending that the previous effort did not happen,” he added, referencing Trump’s last acting defense secretary’s audacious claims that Trump’s planned withdrawal was all just a ruse to trick the Taliban.
“There is an attempted memory hole that is just insulting to everyone, including in the MAGA world who liked that about Trump,” the anchor declared. “You know, a few months ago, a lot of these people attacking Biden today for the decision to withdraw, not for the inept exit that we’ve seen which is certainly deserving of criticism, but for criticizing him for the decision to withdraw, months ago were faulting Biden for not abiding by the May 1 deadline and saying, ‘Oh, Biden is a proponent of forever wars, he’s going to keep us in Afghanistan forever.’”
Tapper concluded: “They were faulting Biden for doing the exact opposite of what they’re faulting him for now. So that hypocrisy is just rank and offensive.”