Washington – Wyoming Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) sat down in-studio with Bret Baier on Fox News’ “Special Report” this evening to discuss President Trump’s decision to call of negotiations with the Taliban. Click here to watch the full interview and see an excerpt of the transcript below:
BRET BAIER: Let’s talk about the issues of the day with the No. 3 Republican in the House, GOP Conference Chair Congresswoman Liz Cheney. Thanks for being here.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Thanks for having me Bret, great to be with you.
BAIER: I want to start with something you wrote about and are concerned about and that is the Taliban peace talks. How do you think it got to the point where they were actually going to come to Camp David and how concerned are you that it got that far?
REP CHENEY: Well I think that the important thing is to look at what actually transpired and what has transpired is the President has done exactly the right thing. This President has shown that he is willing consistently to walk away from bad deals. He walked away from the nuclear deal with Iran, he walked away from the INF treaty. This is a President who has demonstrated his willingness and his ability and his determination not to let the United States be taken advantage of and I think what you see now with the announcement that the talks are dead, with the announcement that they’ve been cancelled is the President demonstrating that he fully understands that the Taliban cannot be a partner for peace and that the United States should not be in a position where we are putting our security in their hands.
BAIER: You also said that they should never be at Camp David, ever.
REP. CHENEY: That’s right. I would not have them at Camp David, I would not have them in the United States. I think that it’s crucially important though to recognize what is at stake in Afghanistan and what the President has done is he has said I am not going to make a situation where the United States has to put our counterterrorism responsibilities and obligations in the hands of the Taliban. We have to prevent safe havens, it’s very important that we recognize the importance of that, particularly as we get here again close to the anniversary of 9/11. There are over 20 foreign terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan today, it’s the highest concentration of terrorist organizations anywhere in the world and our responsibility and the President’s responsibility as he fully knows is to make sure that they cannot form safe havens from which to launch attacks against us.
BAIER: But yet he also is very adamant that U.S. troops are coming home and he’d like to see eventually all U.S. troops coming home and he’s drawing down to 8,600 now.
REP. CHENEY: You know, I think what the President has been adamant about and what you’ve seen, both with the strategy that he laid out in 2017 as well as with his determination to end these talks now, is he’s not going to repeat the mistakes we saw Barack Obama make. He’s not going to withdraw in a situation where we leave a vacuum, where America’s enemies can rise again. The Taliban has not ever separated itself from al Qaeda. They fight hand-in-hand with al Qaeda, they harbor al Qaeda—
BAIER: So why are we negotiating with them to begin with?
REP. CHENEY: We shouldn’t be, and that’s why I am very glad that the President said these talks are dead, we’re not going to be negotiating with them. You can’t trust the Taliban. You know we’ve been talking about the Taliban for years, but the notion that somehow we think they’re going to be a partner for peace, somehow they’re going to give us counterterrorism assurances that we can count on—
BAIER: But somebody thought it.
REP. CHENEY: It’s wrong, we shouldn’t be doing it and I’m very glad to see the President took the important, courageous step that he took to say, ‘That’s it, I’m not going to let America be taken advantage of.’