The National Review has launched an attack on President Donald Trump for his refusal to say whether he supports the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
“America is still fighting the war in Afghanistan, and the president of the United States refuses to say that,” the magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Frank Gaffney, said on Sunday’s edition of Fox News Sunday.
“I mean, he said we’re going to withdraw our troops from the Afghanistan conflict in 2021.
Well, he refused to say when, and now he refuses to support that.”
“He said we should stay, we should fight the Taliban.
Well then he has to say, ‘Okay, we’ll withdraw after 2021.'”
“The president has repeatedly said, ‘Let’s stay in,'” Gaffny continued.
“Well, if you are not going to say it, then you should not be in office.”
The National Magazine Awards are celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Gaffneys words were echoed by conservative commentator Erick Erickson on Sunday morning.
“It’s hard to find a conservative who is not saying that President Trump’s unwillingness to publicly back out of Afghanistan is shameful,” Erickson said on Fox News’ Special Report.
“He can’t even say whether or not he believes that he can lead this country safely and effectively when it’s clear that he is not even willing to commit to a coherent strategy to lead his country.”
Gaffnys views are echoed by the National Review’s editor-in-chief, William Kristol.
“President Trump’s refusal to support the withdrawal is shameful.
The President should be embarrassed by his silence and his refusal not to say anything at all,” Kristol said on Twitter.
“Trump is not a leader.
He has no moral authority and no moral purpose in this administration.
We need to send a message loud and clear: If you want to get us out of this war, then let’s leave.
A spokesman for the White House declined to comment on Gaffners tweets, but said in a statement that the president is committed to continuing to build on the success of the Afghanistan campaign.
“We will continue to work to end the Taliban’s reign of terror, rebuild our economy, and make the world a safer place for our children and grandchildren,” the statement read.
“The President also reaffirms his support for our NATO allies and for the Afghan people.
“And they are inconsistent when it comes to our relationship with Russia.” “
In light of this, the President’s comments this morning are inconsistent with his position at any time in the past year, as he has repeatedly called for the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the White Trump said.
“And they are inconsistent when it comes to our relationship with Russia.”
Trump was forced to apologize to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, after the US began its air campaign against ISIL in Syria.
Giffnys tweets on Trump’s comments came hours after Trump met with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, for the first time since the president took office on January 20.
“This meeting was a success,” Giffney said of the meeting.
“At one point during the meeting, Mr. Karzai said, we have to be ready to walk away from Afghanistan, which is a big step.”
The president’s statement comes after a day of events that have seen the Trump administration escalate tensions with Russia.
Trump and Karzai met in New York on Saturday to discuss the US-led coalition’s efforts against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
While the two sides have not spoken directly since the talks, Karzai has previously criticized Trump’s recent rhetoric about withdrawing US troops from Syria.
“Today, Mr Trump showed his true colors.
His foreign policy has not been about the interests of the American people.
It has been about America’s interests,” Karzai told reporters on Saturday.
“To have a leader who does not have respect for the principles of democracy, human rights and democracy, he has no credibility, no credibility,” Karza added.
Trump has come under fire for his handling of Russia’s meddling in the US presidential election.
On Friday, the president accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and later tweeted that he had a “tremendous relationship” with Putin.
“You could see that our relationship was not always easy,” Trump said on Friday.
“But I will tell you this: If there was any doubt that our countries are working very well together, this has been resolved.”
The White House later released a statement saying that Trump had “committed to working with Russia on a range of issues.”
“We have a very good relationship,” the press release read.