Donald Trump mimics Taliban leader with grunts and forgets his name

25 July 2021, 16:01

(File photo) Donald Trump used grunting noises to imitate the Taliban leader
(File photo) Donald Trump used grunting noises to imitate the Taliban leader. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Donald Trump has impersonated the leader of the Taliban with grunts after forgetting his name, instead telling a crowd: "Let's call him Mohammed."

Addressing his supporters at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, the former president delivered a rambling, near two-hour speech in which he peddled more election myths, slammed the Democrats and stirred up trouble with the Taliban.

Mr Trump recounted a supposed conversation with the organisation's leader, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, during which he claimed to threaten to bomb Afghanistan "harder than any country has ever been hit".

Referring to the USA and Nato's withdrawal from the south Asian country, the ex-president said: "I told the Taliban, I spoke to the leader, and I said - let's call him Mohammed - I said: 'Mohammed, we're leaving'."

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Mr Trump continued: "I said, 'we're going to come back and hit you harder'. And I said, 'do you understand?'

The former US leader then mimicked the Taliban chief by making grunting noises, before adding: "He's a rough guy."

"I started off the conversation, I said, 'Mohammed how are you? President Trump'," the former president said, before making another grunt noise in an attempt to imitate Akhundzada's reply.

Crowds lapped up Mr Trump's speech, laughing each time he impersonated the Taliban leader.

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He continued: "Not a lot of social grace, but that was, you know a nice, he was being nice, I think he was being as nice as he could be.

"But they're rough, you know, he's a rough, that's all they do is fight.

"But I said, 'we're going to come back and hit you harder than any country has ever been hit, and your village, where I know you are and where you have everybody. That's going to be the point at which the first bombs drop'.

"I told him that, I told him that."

Mr Trump spoke with Akhundzada - who has been the Taliban leader since 2016 - in March last year, describing it at the time as a "very good talk" in which both parties said they wished to put an end to the violence in Afghanistan.