In a video message released on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Donald Trump accused President Joe Biden “and his inept administration” of surrendering “in defeat” by withdrawing from Afghanistan after two decades of war.
“The leader of our country was made to look like a fool and that can never be allowed to happen,” the former president said in a message released by his Save America PAC on Saturday, as the nation mourned the deaths of more than 3,000 people.
“It was caused by bad planning, incredible weakness, and leaders who truly didn’t understand what was happening,” Mr Trump said in the video, released shortly before services began at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
The former president, who suggested on 11 September, 2001 that he owns the tallest building in New York City after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, did not attend any official memorial services. He is the only living former president missing from the events other than the nation’s oldest living former president Jimmy Carter, 96, and his wife Rosalynn, who will be “honoring the memory of the fallen on 9/11 with prayer and reflection privately at home,” according to a statement.
President Biden will visit memorials in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon on Saturday. Mr Trump is scheduled to provide ringside commentary at a boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort in Florida on Saturday night.
In the video Mr Trump called 11 September a “very sad day” and thanked first responders. He then added: “It’s also a sad time for the way our war on those who did such great harm to our country ended.”
“The loss of 13 great warriors and the many more who were wounded should never have happened,” Mr Trump said of the deaths of US service members in an attack at the Kabul airport claimed by Isis-k.
Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the Biden administration for its handling of the withdrawal of US forces and Americans in Afghanistan - which the former president’s administration initiated in 2020. The former president also revived his false claim that billions of dollars in US military equipment was “taken from us without even a shot being fired”.
“We will live on, but sadly, our country will be wounded for a long period of time, we will struggle to recover from the embarrassment this incompetence has caused,” Mr Trump said of the Biden administration.
“Do not fear, however, America will be made great again,” he added.
The Trump administration reportedly initiated agreements with the Taliban to withdraw US presence in Afghanistan by May 2021. Mr Biden moved the deadline to 31 August, as Taliban forces assumed control of the country.
Mr Trump is not expected to visit ground zero on Saturday, spokesperson Liz Harrington told The New York Times.
“He had the option to attend but decided to honor the day with different stops,” she said.
This story has been updated to reflect Mr Trump’s schedule
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