Aug 23, 2021 - World

Former Trump Pentagon chief says U.S. troop withdrawal date was never fixed

Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testifies during a Senate hearing on September 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Christopher Miller, then director of the National Counterterrorism Center, during a September Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Chris Miller, the Trump administration's last acting defense secretary, told CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" Monday evening that there was never a concrete date to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Why it matters: Former President Trump has said President Biden should have stuck to the previous administration's May 1 deadline. But Miller told CNN's Chris Cuomo that there was always the provision for officials to "move the goal posts" on the date if required.

  • He said the May 1 date was part "an ongoing strategy" during negotiations with the Taliban.

The big picture: Biden and Trump have blamed each other for the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan since the Taliban returned to power.

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