Trump praised Taliban's 'tough fighters' and pledged to help get their prisoners released: report

The New Yorker has written a lengthy story about the fall of the American-backed government in Afghanistan and it includes new details based on newly unearthed documents and interviews about the role former President Donald Trump played in freeing key Taliban prisoners.

Specifically, the story says Trump last year had a phone conversation with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a founder of the Taliban, in which he praised the Islamic fundamentalists for being difficult to defeat.

"You guys are tough fighters," Trump told him, according to one official who listened to the call. “Do you need something from me?”

“We need to get prisoners released,” Baradar said.

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Trump replied that he would get then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to release Taliban fighters.

After months of negotiations with the Afghan government, the Taliban leader's efforts paid off.

"Eventually, Ghani found a compromise that gave the Americans what they wanted," writes The New Yorker. "He called a loya jirga, a traditional consultative assembly, to decide the fate of the most problematic Taliban prisoners. In early August, the loya jirga approved the release of everyone on the Taliban’s list, including Hasan and the other prisoners on the 'objection list.'"