Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News this week, Mr Trump said he gave Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar a satellite image of his home as a veiled warning amid talks with the designated terrorist group.
“You told me in a previous interview that you told the leader of the Taliban, before you ever talked about any withdrawal, you said to me that in no uncertain terms, you would obliterate him if he dared not to follow every dotted I, cross T, comma, period,” said Mr Hannity.
He continued: “Didn’t you at one point tell him, ‘I know exactly where you are,’ and give him the exact coordinates where he was?”
Mr Trump replied: “No, I sent him a picture of his house. He said, ‘But why but why do you send me a picture of my house?’ I said, ‘You have to figure that one out.’ “
“I said, ‘If you do anything – from that point on we didn’t loose one soldier – we’re going to hit you harder than any country has ever been hit.’ He said, ‘I understand, your Excellency,’“ he continued
In an agreement signed with the Taliban, Mr Trump committed to the full withdrawal of US forces after 18 years of war in the country. The Taliban had been accused by the US of harbouring al-Qaeda, who were believed to have carried out the attacks on New York City and Washington DC in 2001.
The deal was criticised for failing to include the US-backed Afghan government in Kabul that replaced the toppled Taliban government, and for allowing Taliban forces to sweep across the country last August – prompting a last minute, and much criticised, evacuation of Americans and Western officials.
Still, Mr Trump told Mr Hannity during his interview: “I’m the one who got it down to very few soldiers. I wanted to get out...but I would have taken the military out last.”
During the withdrawal last year, Taliban forces were able to retake the entire country in an offensive after US forces had departed from their main base at Bagram as part of Mr Trump’s deal. The terrorist group quickly arrived in Kabul and the capital, and US and American allies working there were evacuated after the Afghan military’s defeat in chaotic scenes.