“Face The Nation” host Major Garrett fails to question Nikki Haley on her past support for negotiations with the Taliban

Garrett also failed to push back on Haley’s false statement, “under four years of Trump, Afghanistan was safe”

CBS’ Face The Nation on Sunday continued mainstream media’s shameful record of letting officials from past administrations get away with their own records on the war in Afghanistan, while attacking the Biden administration for the U.S. military pullout. This time, host Major Garrett interviewed Nikki Haley, former Trump administration ambassador to the United Nations, and never called out Haley’s past support for negotiations with the Taliban during the Trump years.

On Wednesday of last week, Haley tweeted the message, “Negotiating with the Taliban is like dealing with the devil.”

But as numerous people pointed out, Haley herself had publicly supported negotiations with the Taliban. The Associated Press quoted her in January 2018:

“The U.S. policy on Afghanistan is working,” Haley said. “We are seeing that we are closer to talks with the Taliban and the peace process than we’ve seen before. ... And I think we really are going to work toward a peace process with the goal being that we do not want Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorism anymore.”

Furthermore, the official talks with the Taliban began months before Haley left office in late 2018. But despite the widespread ridicule of Haley’s claims now, Garrett simply read Haley’s own tweet back to her, then threw her a softball question: “Madam Ambassador, the Biden administration says it's not negotiating with the Taliban. Do you not believe that?

“I agree with you. They're not negotiating with the Taliban; they've completely surrendered to the Taliban,” Haley responded.

Garrett acknowledged that it was the Trump administration that negotiated the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban, but he did not discuss Haley’s past support for the negotiations. (Haley’s own response was to deflect from people “wanting to go back and talk about Trump.”)

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Citation From the August 22, 2021, edition of CBS’ Face The Nation

MAJOR GARRETT: Someone you know well, the former secretary of state in the Trump administration, Mike Pompeo, stood alongside one of the Taliban founders and helped negotiate this deal in which President Trump signed an agreement to have United States forces out earlier this year. Did that set in motion what we're seeing now?

NIKKI HALEY: You know, I think everybody's wanting to go back and talk about Trump. The truth is, under four years of Trump, Afghanistan was safe. We made sure that we kept terrorism at bay and that we came from a strength of position. What's happened in seven months of Biden is we've completely surrendered and we've humiliated ourselves in the eyes of the world. The thing is, there are times where you have to negotiate with the devil, but you negotiate with the devil from a point of strength. You don't do it from a point of weakness.

On a side note, Haley’s distinction between Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “negotiating” with the Taliban compared to Biden having “surrendered” to them is itself not entirely clear. Former Trump administration National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said last week that Pompeo had “signed a surrender agreement with the Taliban,” further adding of the current situation: “This collapse goes back to the capitulation agreement of 2020.”

Furthermore, Haley’s claim that “the truth is, under four years of Trump, Afghanistan was safe,” was also not the truth, something else for which Garrett failed to challenge his guest.