Social media users expressed shock after the Taliban backed U.S. President Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. While the Trump campaign rejected the endorsement from the militant outfit, the damage appeared to have been enormous.
The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CBS News that the group hoped Trump would win the election and he will remove the U.S. military from Afghanistan. "We hope he will win the election and wind up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan," Mujahid said in a telephonic interview with CBS News.
Another senior Taliban leader said that the group's leaders were "worried" for the President's health after he was tested positive for Covid-19. "When we heard about Trump being COVID-19 positive, we got worried for his health, but seems he is getting better," the leader told CBS News.
Trump Campaign Rejects Taliban's Endorsement
As the criticism mounted over the Taliban's endorsement, the Trump campaign quickly issued a statement distancing itself from the militant group's backing.
"We reject their support and the Taliban should know that the President will always protect American interests by any means necessary, unlike Joe Biden who opposed taking out Osama bin Laden and Qasem Soleimani," Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told Axios.
Why Does the Taliban Support President Trump?
The sudden shift in the Taliban's attitude towards the U.S. government appeared to have been stemmed from a February agreement between the militant group and the Trump administration. The U.S. agreed to slowly withdraw American troops from war-torn Afghanistan under a peace deal made in March.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the remaining troops should be pulled back by Christmas. The President offered no further explanation over the statement, which came as a surprise for some U.S. officials because last Wednesday National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said the government will slash the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 latest by early 2021.
Twitter Users Express Shock
Twitter users reacted with shock after the Afghan militant group endorsed Trump for the Nov. 3 election. Multiple users said that Trump received backing from white supremacists, neo-Nazi groups and even terrorist Osama Bin Laden's niece Noor Bin Ladin, while his Democratic rival Joe Biden was supported by the military and national security officials.