President Trump’s campaign has firmly rejected the Taliban’s endorsement for his 2020 reelection after members of the terrorist group voiced support for Trump amid negotiations on withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
"We hope he will win the election and wind up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CBS News last week.
The Taliban told the outlet that the group admires Trump’s “America first” plan.
In this Sept. 12, 2020, file photo, Taliban negotiator Abbas Stanikzai, center front, and his delegation attend the opening session of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Hussein Sayed, File)
"Honestly, Trump was much more honest with us than we thought; even we were stunned with his offer to meet Taliban in Camp David,” another senior Taliban member told the outlet, referencing a meeting the president said he canceled last year after the group killed an American soldier.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the outlet and Axios in an emailed statement that they “reject” the Taliban’s support.
"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," the statement said.
The Taliban’s support comes after Trump on Wednesday tweeted that U.S. troops in Afghanistan “should” be home by Christmas amid delicate negotiations with the group.
Trump's tweet came hours after his national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said the U.S. would reduce its forces to 2,500 by early next year.
U.S. officials told Fox News last week that the sudden pronouncement, which appeared timed to help Trump in the presidential election, will make it harder for his negotiators and the Afghan government, who are currently in tough talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.