Trump mixes election grievance while railing against Biden’s Afghanistan policy in Alabama

Trump defends his negotiation deal with the Taliban

Eric Garcia
Sunday 22 August 2021 04:10
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<p>Former president Donald Trump</p>

Former president Donald Trump

Former president Donald Trump mixed his normal lies about the 2020 presidential election being stolen while he blamed President Joe Biden for Afghanistan falling to the Taliban at a rally in Alabama Saturday night.

Mr Trump said criticized Mr Biden throughout the rally in Cullman, saying that Democrats stealing the 2020 presidential election led the Afghan capital of Kabul to fall.

“This will go down as one of the great military defeats of all time,” Mr Trump said, with some people seeing to call for Mr Biden’s impeachment. “This was not a withdrawal. It was a total surrender.”

Mr Trump also defended his negotiation with the Taliban and his negotiation with the organization’s leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

“I said Abdul, anything happens, we are going to reign terror upon you,” he said, noting how he and the Taliban had a conditions-based agreement on withdrawal. “And then we had a rigged election and a new president and the new president came into office and he dropped to his knees and he said ‘come on in and take everything that we have.”

The Biden administration, and even some former Trump administration officials, have blamed the former president’s negotiation with the Taliban for the complete collapse of the Afghan government.

In turn, the former president also praised the Taliban while also criticizing the Biden administration for not knowing the precise amount of Americans in Afghanistan.

“Taliban, great negotiators. Tough fighters,” he said. “This is a great stain on the reputation of our country.”

Still, Mr Trump said it was a mistake to go to war in the Middle East.

“Going into the Middle East was one of the most disastrous decisions,” he said. “In my opinion, it was the worst decision we ever had.”

Mr Trump also criticized Gen Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said last year that it was a mistake for him to walk across Lafayette Square in front of the White House with then-President Trump to St John’s Episcopal Church to pose with a Bible when police used teargas and rubber bullets on protesters.

“He wanted to apologize for walking with the president of the United States. I said this guy doesn’t have what it takes,” Mr Trump told the crowd in Alabama. Mr Trump, who often touts toughness, had a clip from the movie Patton with George C. Scott in an attempt to contrast with the current generals.

“Do you think that General Patton was woke?” he said, using a term previously used among Africans that now is used as a pejorative among conservatives to deride the concerns of liberals.

“You know what woke means, it means you’re a loser,” he said. “Everything woke turns to shit.”

Mr Trump then used the remarks to deride the US women’s national soccer team and player Megan Rapinoe, a frequent critic of his who has knelt during the national anthem.

“The one with the purple hair, she didn't play too well,” he said.

The president also encouraged people to get vaccinated but also hedged when saying that people could refuse to do so.

“I recommend, take the vaccines, I did it, it’s good,” he said, “ If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know. But it is working. You do have your freedoms.”

But when Mr Trump met some pushback from the crowd, to which he said, “You got your freedoms.”

Alabama’s vaccination rate has been on the upswing after an initial drop, according to WSFA. But AL.com also reported the state was out of intensive care unit beds as cases have spiked.

Mr Trump’s rally also featured numerous local Republican officials, such as Sen Tommy Tuberville, who won his race last year, as well as Rep Mo Brooks, whom Trump endorsed in April for the 2022 Republican primary to replace outgoing Sen Richard Shelby.

Mr Brooks had spoken at the “Stop the Steal Rally” before the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January. But he called on the crowd to move on from the 2020 election.

“There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud election in 2020. Folks, put that behind you,” Mr Brooks said. “Look forward. Beat them in 2022. Beat them in 2024.”

But the crowd jeered him, at which point, the congressman relented.

“All right, well look back at it but go forward and take advantage of it,” he said.

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