Trump news: President revives claim he was at ground zero after 9/11 despite fire chief saying he was 'never' there

Joe Sommerlad, Chris Riotta
AP

Donald Trump followed a tweet paying respects to those killed in 9/11 on the 18th anniversary of the terror attack mere moments later with a fresh assault on Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve, calling the economist a “bonehead” and raising questions about the sincerity of his memorial message.

The president's decision to appoint Charles Kupperman as his acting national security adviser, replacing the outgoing John Bolton, has come under fire after it emerged he has long-running ties to the Centre for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim think tank.

Mr Trump reportedly had a “heated exchange” with Mr Bolton in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon, accusing him of leaking news of vice president Mike Pence’s disapproval of Mr Trump’s plan for peace talks with the Taliban to the press, after which the hawk handed in a two-line resignation letter, the culmination of months of disagreement.

Mr Trump tweeted Saturday that he canceled an until-then-clandestine weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban representatives and Afghanistan leaders.

He said he changed his mind after a Taliban car bombing in Kabul on Thursday killed 12 people, including a US service member.

On Monday, the president declared that US peace talks with the Taliban are “dead.”

Victims’ relatives and first responders digested the news with mixed feelings as well. Several called the timing unfortunate but the idea of talks worthwhile, a potential path toward peace for Afghans and Americans weary of Washington’s longest war.

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“I don’t want to see other families suffer the way I did. That’s the bottom line. Not soldiers or innocent victims of terrorism,” said Jim Riches, a retired New York deputy fire chief who responded to the terror 2001 attacks and lost his son, Jimmy, a fellow firefighter.

The US went to war against Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban a month after 9/11 for harbouring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

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More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year war. About 20,000 American and allied troops remain in Afghanistan, and the Taliban control or hold sway over nearly half the country.

Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load

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