Taliban endorses Donald Trump ahead of US presidential election

10 October 2020, 22:00 | Updated: 10 October 2020, 22:11

The Taliban has given its support to Donald Trump ahead of the US presidential election
The Taliban has given its support to Donald Trump ahead of the US presidential election. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The Taliban has given Donald Trump its support ahead of the US presidential election, saying: "We hope he will win the election."

A spokesman for the hardline Islamic group in Afghanistan told CBS News in the States that it was "worried" after hearing the US President had tested positive for coronavirus as they want him to win a second term in power.

Speaking in a phone interview with the American news organisation, Zabihullah Mujahid said: "We hope he will win the election and wind-up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan."

Another senior Taliban leader added: "When we heard about Trump being Covid-19 positive, we got worried for his health, but seems he is getting better."

Mr Trump's campaign team told CBS News that it rejects the group's support and that the president will always protect the interest of Americans.

The senior Taliban member also said: "Trump might be ridiculous for the rest of the world, but he is sane and wise man for the Taliban."

Read more: Trump refuses to confirm whether he has tested negative for Covid

Read more: Second US presidential debate called off as Trump refuses to take part

It comes after the US leader said he wanted to bring home all American troops currently based in Afghanistan "by Christmas".

He wrote in a tweet on Thursday: "We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas."

Meanwhile, in an interview with Fox News on Saturday, Mr Trump said he was feeling "really, really strong" but did not confirm whether he had since tested negative for coronavirus.

The president said he had been taken off the steroid Dexamethasone. "I tolerated it very well. I don't take it anymore. It was pretty short-term.

"Right now I'm medication free, I'm not taking any medications as of eight hours ago, which frankly makes me feel good. I don't like medication."

Read more: President Trump to undertake televised 'medical evaluation'

Read more: Trump’s doctor says president can resume public engagements

He was asked a second time what medication he was on, to which he replied: "I think pretty much nothing."

The president said he would be retested for Covid-19 on Friday ahead of a planned event on the White House lawn on Saturday.

"I have been retested. I haven't even found out numbers or anything yet," he added.

"I know I'm either at the bottom of the scale or free."

The US leader was asked how he felt while infected: "I didn't feel strong, didn't feel really strong. I didn't have a problem with breathing, which a lot of people have, I didn't have a problem with that," Trump said.

"But I didn't feel very strong, I didn't feel very vital like the President of the United States should feel," he went on.

Last night, the second planned debate between Mr Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden was called off, not long after the president refused to take part because organisers said it would be held virtually.

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