Calling it the “greatest embarrassment … in the history of our country,” former President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and said “billions and billions of dollars” in military equipment has been left behind for the Taliban and their allies.
“The people come out first, then I was going to take all of the military equipment,” Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“We have billions and billions of dollars worth of new Black Hawk helicopters, brand new that Russia will now be examining, and so will China, and so will everybody else to figure it because it’s the greatest in the world. We have brand-new army tanks and all sorts of equipment, missiles, we have everything,” Trump continued. (RELATED: Afghanistan President Blames US Troop Withdrawal For Worsening Security Amid Taliban Gains)
The former president said “it’s a great thing” to be leaving Afghanistan “but nobody has ever handled a withdrawal worse than Joe Biden. This is the greatest embarrassment I believe in the history of our country.”
Trump said he wanted to remove the equipment because he had no confidence that the Afghan forces would continue fighting if they did continue to be paid by the U.S. “The fact is they are among the highest paid soldiers in the world. They were doing it for a pay check because once we stopped, once we left, they stopped fighting,” Trump said, adding that the U.S. was “sort of bribing them to fight.”
Trump faulted Biden for not first getting all American citizens out of Afghanistan before winding down operations.
“I’m America-first, okay. The Americans come out first, but we’re also we will help people who helped us,” the former president said, cautioning that Afghan allies must be vetted because “there’s some rough people” to consider. Trump said U.S. military forces must be the last to leave the country. (RELATED: ‘Failed Leadership’: Erik Prince Says Victory In Afghanistan ‘Pissed Away By Half-Baked Politicians In Washington’)
The Taliban wrested control of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday after the Afghan army collapsed and the nation’s president fled. Afghanis fearing they will be targeted by the Taliban clung to a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft in hopes of being airlifted out of the country.
The Biden administration insisted that Afghanistan could defend itself against the Taliban without U.S. assistance. “Ultimately, the Afghan National Security Defense Forces have the equipment, numbers, and training to fight back,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a White House press briefing Aug. 11. “They have what they need. What they need to determine is if they have the political will to fight back, and if they have the ability to unite … as leaders to fight back. And that’s really where it stands at this point.”