On Nov. 11, while Donald Trump was still loudly and wrongly insisting that he’d won the 2020 election, it seems that, privately, his mind had turned to securing his presidential legacy. According to Axios, the outgoing president set off a panic by signing a bizarre memo a week after his election defeat that demanded an abrupt troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The memo was reportedly signed by the president without the knowledge of White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, or the office of the staff secretary, which manages the paper flow to and from the president’s desk. Axios described the memo as “an off-the-books operation by the commander in chief himself” to withdraw troops before Biden’s inauguration. Ultimately, Trump was talked down from the plan after being warned by Pentagon officials that it could allow the Taliban to take Kabul in the dying days of his presidency. In April, Biden announced the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11.
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