Nightly News   |  March 25, 2013

Karzai says he was misunderstood

During Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to Afghanistan, the country’s leader Hamid Karzai backed off from his earlier statement that the U.S. was conspiring with the Taliban. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> state john kerry made an unannounced visit to afghanistan where u.s. forces are winding down after more than a decade of war. it's one of a series of stops for the secretary since the president's trip to the region last week. we get our report from our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell who is traveling with secretary a kerry .

>> reporter: john kerry 's trip to afghanistan was all about damage control , defusinging tensions with hamid karzai . two weeks agoer karzai suggested the u.s. colluded with the taliban on suicide attacks . today karzai claims he was misunderstood. after all the american sacrifices, do you stand by your recent statement that the united states is conspiring with the taliban on recenter error attacks?

>> i never used the word collusion between the taliban and the u.s. those were not my words. those were words picked up by the media.

>> we are on the same page. i don't think there is any disagreement between us . i'm very comfortable with the president's explanation.

>> reporter: it wasn't kerry 's first mission to deal with a karzai problem. as a senator in 2009 he spent four days persuading karzai to hold a run-off election after vote fraud. today just before kerry landed the u.s. turned over control of the prison at bagram airport giving kerry the power to release dangerous prisoners. he confronted prime minister malaki for helping iran. kerry has been on a diplomatic marathon. israel, jordan, iraq, back for a secret dinner with the powerful army chief of staff . tonight, afghanistan . all part of a fired up obama glenmore diplomacy trying to claim achievements before his time in office is up. andrea mitchell , nbc news, kabul.