Former President Donald Trump rejected President Joe Biden’s attempts to blame him for the botched Afghanistan withdrawal and American lives lost due to the chaos in Kabul.
While Biden continues to point the finger at Trump for negotiating with the Taliban, the former president said the agreement his administration orchestrated was clear about consequences.
“We had a very strong agreement. It was conditions-based. Now there were many other parts of the agreement also. And if they violated them, you know that, we went in and bombed the hell out of them, and they never would. They never would have come into Kabul. And they just wouldn’t do it,” Trump said on the Hugh Hewitt Show. “Now what happened is one day, Biden said take the soldiers out. And it went back to the leaders of the Taliban, to the whole group of them, that the soldiers are leaving. And I would say that they were shocked, okay? I am surmising that they were shocked, because we had that thing so tight.”
He also noted that “we would not have stood for any soldiers or any Americans being killed or shot at or hurt in any way.”
“That was in there. And Hugh, for 18 months, not one American soldier was killed. Not one. Eighteen months. And that was because of the agreement, and because of my talk with Abdul, who is now the boss, as you know, He is now the boss,” Trump said.
When asked “what do you make about his availability to the press,” Trump said he doesn’t think Biden knows what is going on.
“I don’t think he knows what’s happening. And it’s frankly a horrible thing that’s going on. I think it’s the most embarrassing moment for our military and for our country. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen, it just doesn’t make sense,” Trump said. How they’re doing it, what they’re doing, we had it in perfect shape. Just like we had the southern border in perfect shape, and then he destroyed it. We had the fewest number of people coming in. Now, we have the most number of people, and drugs and other things coming in. We had that in the best shape in the history of our country. And now, for this long period of this war, this horrible 21-year war, we had it in such good shape to get out, and get out with pride, get out with, really, a moral victory. And for some reason, it doesn’t make sense, he pulled the military out first.
Trump also said he didn’t have faith that the rest of the administration was fully tuned into the situation either.
“We could have thousands of hostages. I don’t think they know what they’re doing. Yesterday, they said 500. So the 35,000 all of sudden is 500, and yet most of the people taken on the plane, most of those people, as you know, are Afghans, right?” Trump asked. “So how are we down to 500? Nobody knows what the number of hostages is. I don’t think the United States has a clue. I think there are thousands of people that are hostage.”
In addition to promising he would’ve had a plan to evacuate civilians, allies, and Afghan interpreters, as well as military equipment (against the wishes of “woke” generals like current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley) before fully withdrawing troops, Trump said he made it very clear to the Taliban in their conversations that they shouldn’t mess with the United States.
“And even the introduction, I say hello, and he screamed something very tough. And I then started with him. I said listen, before we start the longtime conversation and conversations that we’re going to have, I have to say one thing, and I’ll never have to say it again to you. And here’s what I say. If you do anything bad to the United States of America, if you do anything bad to any of our civilians, to any American citizen, or if you do anything out of the normal, you know, they’ve been fighting for 1,000 years, but out of the normal, because you’ve had your wars, and if you do anything out of the normal, but anything bad to America or any American citizens, I will hit you harder than anybody has ever been hit in world history. You will be hit harder than any country and any person has ever been hit in world history,” Trump said. “And we will start with the exact location and the exact town, and it’s right here. And I believe I repeated the name of his town. That will be the first place that we start. And I won’t be able to speak to you anymore after that, and isn’t that a very sad thing? But that is the story.”
Trump also said he followed through on his threat when the Taliban “missed conditions.”
“I wanted to be out by May 1st. I had spoken to him quite a bit before May 1st, but we had a condition of May 1st. But they missed conditions, and so therefore, I bombed and we hit them very hard. And then we said we will agree to those conditions. I said no, you’ve already agreed to them. Don’t play games. We had them so good. They weren’t in Kabul,” Trump said.
“You take a look at when they started taking over Afghanistan. It’s when I left. When I left, that’s when it started, they started going wild, because they were dealing with another president,” he added. “And I never realized, and of course I realized the importance and power of the presidency, but I never realized how important the office of the president is until this happened, because when I watched what happened over the last week and a half with some horrible, stupid decisions that were made, number one being allowing our military to leave before the civilians and before we get all of our equipment back, $83 billion.”