Trump says he asked five-year-old about best way to evacuate US assets from Afghanistan

Ex-president also claimed the US left dogs behind in its evacuation

Abe Asher
Wednesday 12 April 2023 02:30 BST
White House blames Trump administration for Afghanistan withdrawal chaos

Former President Donald Trump told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he asked a five-year-old about the best way to evacuate US assets from Afghanistan in an interview aired on the television network on Tuesday evening.

Mr Trump spoke at length about the US evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021 during the interview, in which he also claimed that the US left a number of dogs — “mostly German Shepherds” — behind in the country.

“They left the dogs — you know the dog lovers, and there are a lot of them, I love dogs, you love dogs, but they left the dogs. One of the first questions I got: ‘What did they do with the dogs?’ Mostly German Shepherds,” Mr Trump said. “They left them.”

Mr Trump said the US should not have abandoned a range of expensive military equipment in the country during the course of its evacuation — and that the five-year-old he asked about the evacuation process ordered by President Joe Biden agreed him with him.

“To see the way we got out like we were surrendering, taking the military out first, leaving $85bn worth of equipment behind, giving up Bagram,” Mr Trump said. “I was going to keep Bagram.”

The former president — who has been blamed by his successor’s administration for not planning an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, something he denied — hit out at President Joe Biden, saying he failed to evacuate the military last. Mr Trump said he had asked a five-year-old in what order the evacuation should have happened.

“I did a little skit with a five-year-old kid, I said, ‘Let me ask you: here’s the situation.’ I explained the situation. I said, ‘Would you take the military out first or would you take it out last?’ ‘I’d take it out last.’ Five-year-old.”

Mr Trump also hit out at senior members of the Defense Department who he claims told him that it would be too difficult to try to evacuate US assets from Afghanistan and boasted about his diplomatic skills and handling of the Taliban as well as Russia and China. Mr Trump spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that the war might not be “winnable” for Ukraine.

The hour-long interview, billed as “historic” by Fox News, mainly featured Mr Trump speaking uninterrupted for long periods of time on a range of topics including but not limited to his recent indictment in New York. The twice-impeached former president also speculated that Mr Biden “can’t” run for a second term due to his mental state while complimenting the mental faculties of Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus.

Mr Trump also said that no legal charge or conviction would convince him to drop out of the race for the presidency. He is currently leading in Republican primary polls, with Gov Ron DeSantis of Florida expected to enter the race in the coming months.

Each segment of the programme was introduced by Carlson, who complimented Mr Trump at length — a striking development coming just weeks after the publication of text messages Carlson sent in January 2021 in which he said of Mr Trump, “I hate him passionately. ... I can’t handle much more of this.”

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