On Saturday, CNN flamed former President Donald Trump over his unverified account of his phone call last year to a Taliban leader who “screamed something tough.”
Network analyst Chris Cillizza called the account “something else.”
When Trump called in Thursday to the show of conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, he was asked about his call with Taliban co-founder and then-deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
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Trump spoke last to Baradar amid negotiations to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Trump said after the phone call that the two men had a “good talk.”
Baradar met just days ago with CIA Director William Burns in Kabul, but details of their talk were not revealed.
As for the former president, his long-winded story, mangled syntax, and one-sided conversation on Hewitt’s program was vintage Trump.
For one thing, he initially seemed fuzzy about who he actually talked to.
″I spoke to … sort of the known head, but nobody was sure, but now I’m sure, and I was sure then when I was speaking to him. And I knew as soon as I spoke to him. And even the introduction, I say ‘Hello,’ and he screamed something adamant,” Trump recalled. He apparently had no idea what it was, Baradar screamed.
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CNN analyst Chris Cillizza said it sounded like Trump was only completely convinced of Baradar’s identity and his role in the Taliban when he “screamed something adamant.”
Then Trump got tough:
“And I then started with him. I said, listen, before we start the longtime conversation and conversations that we’re going to have, I have to say one thing, and I’ll never have to repeat it to you. And here’s what I say: If you do anything bad to the United States of America, if you do anything bad to any of our civilians, to any American citizen, or if you do anything out of the normal … I will hit you harder than anybody has ever been hit in world history.”
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That would be pretty darn hard, smirked Cillizza.
Trump was then asked a fundamental question by Baradar —
which he refused to divulge. But the former president did reveal his answer, which revealed absolutely nothing, Cillizza noted.
“He asked me one question, and I’d rather not repeat that question because it’s a terrifying question,” Trump noted. “But he asked me one question, and I gave him the answer: ‘Yes.’”