Updated Jul 1, 2019

Trump says he'd leave a "strong" intelligence presence in Afghanistan

 President Donald Trump addresses the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo May 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump said he would leave a "very strong" intelligence presence in Afghanistan, in an interview broadcast on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Monday.

Details: In a wide ranging interview, Trump told Fox News host Tucker Carlson he wanted to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. "I would like to just get out," he said. "The problem is, it just seems to be a lab for terrorists. ... I call it the Harvard of terrorists."

I've wanted to pull them out.  And you know, I have pulled a lot out. We were at 16,000.  We're down to about 9,000, which a lot of people don't know. "
— Trump on withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan

The big picture: Peace talks with the Taliban resumed in Qatar on Monday. The Taliban wants foreign forces to leave Afghanistan, while the U.S. wants a guarantee that the country won't be used as a base for attacks elsewhere, per Reuters.

  • Trump revealed his intention to keep intelligence service personnel in Afghanistan in response to a question from Carlson about how long he planned to keep troops in the country, noting 2 American servicemen were killed there last week.

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This article has been updated with more context and comments from Trump.

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