The Taliban at Camp David: Trump Says Why Not?

The most famous diplomatic meeting at Camp David was the 1978 agreement between the Israelis and the Egyptians, which was brokered by President Jimmy Carter. President Bill Clinton would unsuccessfully try to take a similar path in 2000, hosting Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister, and the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

“That’s building relationships,” Mr. Giorgione said of those attempts. Of Mr. Trump’s Taliban plan, he added: “We’re talking about an entity that espouses terrorism, attacked our country and killed our people. To me, that’s not the type of player you bring to a place with the history and reverence of Camp David to talk.”

This was not the first time Mr. Trump or his advisers have envisioned Camp David as a place to carry out his diplomatic ambitions, nor is it the first time the president’s impatience to set a headline-grabbing scene has ended in disappointment.

In early 2018, White House officials had discussed using Camp David as a place to host Enrique Peña Nieto, then the president of Mexico, for trade talks, according to a person familiar with the planning process. Mr. Nieto’s visit was called off when the two leaders got into a fight over the phone when discussing Mr. Trump’s planned border wall with Mexico. The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Mr. Trump has had better luck hosting a captive audience.

Last January, the president invited several top congressional Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Paul D. Ryan, then the House speaker, for a weekend retreat. Mr. Trump offered personal tours of the grounds, with special time reserved for the group to review his presidential lodgings. At dinnertime, steaks were on the menu, prepared by Navy chefs.

There was also a movie in the informal screening room: “The Greatest Showman,” a musical about P.T. Barnum.

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