US's ex-President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed Twitter policy that allows the Taliban to publish messages while he remained banned by the social media.
'It's disgraceful when you think that you have killers and muggers and dictators and horrible ... some horrible dictators and countries, and they're all on but the president of the United States, who had hundreds of millions of people, by the way, he gets taken off,' Trump told Newsmax in a telephone interview.
Donald Trump BLASTS Twitter for banning him but not 'killers and muggers' of the Taliban https://t.co/tikE7HvLfn— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 19, 2021
In contrast, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has been allowed to post updates on the jihadist movement's advance, describing how military units had captured Kabul.
Other platforms, such as Facebook, ban posts that glorify violence including sanctioned terrorist organizations such as the Taliban.
But by Wednesday, Mujahid's account remained active with more than 322,000 followers.
A spokesman for Twitter said: 'The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving, and we're witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance.
'Twitter's top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant.'
'We will continue to proactively enforce our rules and review content that may violate Twitter Rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence and platform manipulation and spam.'
Twitter announced it was banning Trump on Jan. 8, permanently suspending an account with more than 80 million followers.
It said it took the decision because of the risk of 'further incitement of violence' after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
But all platforms face awkward decisions as they decide whether to allow a Taliban government to use social media.
However, Trump said his flurry of emailed statements and appearance on channels such as Newsmax meant he could continue to get his message out.
In recent days he has kept up a running commentary on President Biden's foreign policy and handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Again on Wednesday, he condemned Biden for the chaotic scenes at Kabul airport where U.S. troops have been deployed to protect an emergency evacuation.
'Well it's inconceivable that anybody could be so incompetent, stupid ... use any word you want to use ... to imagine that you take out your military before you take out your US citizens and civilians and others that may be helped us,' he said.
Biden is under pressure to explain how his administration could have failed to forecast the rapid Taliban takeover. Trump claimed he had seen it coming.
These are great fighters,' he said. 'They've been fighting for 2000 years. That's what they do is they fight.'
The result was a huge embarrassment for the U.S.
'They don't know what they're doing and whether you think in terms of Dunkirk, or whether you think in terms of so many other bad thoughts. You know we have 1000s of potential hostages sitting there, our military left and now we're trying to get our military back there,' he said.
Earlier in the day he complained at the sight of 640 refugees packed onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 arguing the plane should have been filled with Americans fleeing Afghanistan instead.
'This plane should have been full of Americans. America First!' Trump said in a statement, sharing a tweet from CBS News that featured the photograph, that has gone viral since the Sunday flight.
Trump previously hammered President Joe Biden for not rescuing civilians who had aided the American war effort.
'Can anyone even imagine taking out our Military before evacuating civilians and others who have been good to our Country and who should be allowed to seek refuge?' Trump said in a statement Monday.
'In addition, these people left topflight and highly sophisticated equipment. Who can believe such incompetence? Under my Administration, all civilians and equipment would have been removed,' the former president added.
Trump's change of tune came as some of his allies started fear-mongering about Afghan refugees flooding into the U.S.
Steve Cortes, a senior adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign, reacted to the Afghan refugee photo Tuesday by tweeting, 'Raise your hand if you want this plane landing in your town?'
'America paid unimaginable costs in Afghanistan because of uniparty globalists who dominated the Bush & Obama administrations. No more…,' he said.
The Center for Renewing America, which is led by former Trump Office of Management and Budget official Russ Vought, sent out a statement Tuesday cautioning that the U.S. shouldn't bring in too many Afghan refugees.
The statement was co-authored by Ken Cuccinelli, who served as the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security under Trump.
It was shared on Twitter by top Trump aide Stephen Miller.
Good to know we'll be able to receive regular updates from the new Taliban government on Twitter, but to get updates from Donald Trump you'll have to go elsewhere https://t.co/nlfVgfpF13— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) August 16, 2021
'[W]e must keep in mind that most of the fleeing Afghans will not have directly aided the United States or directly fought against the Taliban. And it is not in our national interest to accept refugees merely because they are refugees,' the statement said.
'Already U.S. governors are rushing to resettle refugees from Afghanistan with no thought as to how it will impact the security or cohesion of their communities,' the statement continued.
'Americans understandably want to protect Afghans who risked their lives to fight w U.S. against the Taliban & Al Qaeda,' it said.
'However, we must be careful that we do not allow the attitude behind the self-destructive open border policies & enforcement failures happening on our southern border to be repeated with the importation & resettlement of tens of thousands of Afghans who we cannot properly vet and who may very well pose a security risk to our communities, and may be unable or unwilling to assimilate into our country.'
During his four years in office, Trump was an immigration hardliner who vastly diminished the U.S.'s refugee program.
He also put in place a so-called 'Muslim ban,' which aimed to suspend travel and immigration from a handful of Muslim-majority countries.
He first announced his plans for a ban in December 2015, weeks before the beginning of the Republican primary.
Trump pushed to have the U.S. leave Afghanistan and signed a deal with the Taliban to remove all U.S. troops by May of this year.
Biden extended the deployment, with the aim to remove U.S. boots on the ground by August 31, less than two weeks before the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, which prompted U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.