Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro on Sunday would not rule out the possibility that plans for a negotiation between the Trump administration and the Taliban were fabricated.
“I think, like most Americans, I don’t know what to believe anymore that comes out of the mouth or tweet of this president,” Castro said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The answer came after host Jake Tapper asked about President Donald Trump’s announcement he scrapped planned talks between the White House and Taliban leaders.
Castro, who served as the Housing and Urban Development secretary under the Obama administration, suggested Trump was not completely forthcoming about his trade negations with China, using it as an example to suggest the president has a history of making false statements.
“So the way he tweeted this out, I’m still looking for confirmation an actual, physical trip to camp David was planned,” the Texas Democrat said.
The exchange came after Trump sent a tweet Saturday night, announcing he cancelled a secret peace meeting between Taliban leaders and the President of Afghanistan, which were to be held at Camp David. The president said he called off the meeting after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, that killed 12 people, including an American.
Castro’s trepidation on Sunday came despite the fact that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke just minutes before him on the same program, confirming the botched plans and discussing why the Trump administration chose to call off the meeting at Camp David.
“But if it was, if it had been planned, that’s bizarre as well. Because even though I do support a negotiated political settlement there that will increase stability and make sure that Afghanistan is not used as a base of terrorist operations, it’s very odd to invite a terrorist organization like that to Camp David. It’s not in keeping with the way the United States negotiates,” Castro said. (RELATED: Democratic Candidate Asked Why He’s ‘Hypercritical’ Of Trump Immigration Policies He Once Praised Under Obama)
“This is the worst president when it comes to negotiating I think we’ve had in a very longtime,” he continued.
Castro reached the threshold for the September Democratic debates, making him one of only ten candidates who qualified to stand on the debate stage. Under the rules set by the Democratic National Committee, presidential candidates must receive at least 2% in four separate polls between June 28 and August 28 that are DNC-approved, must also receive donations from at least 130,000 people across multiple states.
Despite qualifying for the much more exclusive debate this month, Castro is still polling far below the top tier of Democratic candidates. The Texas Democrat did not competitively poll in any of early Democratic state surveys released by CBS News/YouGov Tracker, which were conducted between August 28 and September 4.
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