‘Never been a greater embarrassment’: Trump overlooks own record to blast Biden on Afghanistan

It comes as White House negotiates with Taliban over 100 Americans awaiting private rescue flights

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 09 September 2021 00:24
Trump labels Biden handling of Afghanistan 'an embarrassment'

Donald Trump said Joe Biden “embarrassed the US in front of the world” as the White House continues to engage with wanted terrorists over Americans stranded in Afghanistan.

Amid speculation of a likely 2024 run, Mr Trump continued his campaign against Mr Biden to call Afghanistan the biggest embarrassment in US history.

“That withdrawal was the most incompetently handled withdrawal, or anything else, in the history of our country. We’re embarrassed in front of the world,” he said in a Newsmax interview.

“Giving them $850 billion of the best military equipment in the world, there’s never been a greater embarrassment than we’ve suffered this last week.”

Asked to respond to criticism the Afghanistan withdrawal was passed onto Mr Biden from his own administration, Mr Trump said the Taliban was not held accountable to his conditions-based deal.

“Can you imagine getting the military out, before you get your citizens, American people out?” Mr Trump said. “They took the military out first. We would have taken it out last,” he added.

An estimated 100 Americans have been waiting to leave Afghanistan on private rescue flights at Mazar-i-Sharif airport.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday they were being held by the Taliban due to a lack of “required documentation” among the hundreds of Afghans also trying to flee on the flights.

Mr Blinken said they were working through the issues, which Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said was due to the temporary closure of the Interior and Foreign Affairs ministries.

Mr Mujahid expected the problems to be resolved by Wednesday after Afghanistan’s new cabinet was announced on Tuesday.

That cabinet includes four Guantanamo Bay prisoners released in a prisoner exchange during the Obama administration, as well as Sirajuddin Haqqani. The FBI is offering a $10m reward for Haqqani over a 2008 attack in Kabul that left six dead, including a US citizen.

Haqqani has been named the acting interior minister, overseeing one of the ministries processing the private charger flights sitting on the tarmac in Afghanistan.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the administration’s working with the former inmates, saying she doesn’t “think this is about fault here”.

“This is a caretaker cabinet that does include four former imprisoned Taliban fighters,” Ms Psaki said.

“What we’re working to do is to engage with them because they oversee and control Afghanistan right now to get American citizens, legal permanent residents, SIV [special immigrant visa] applicants out of Afghanistan.’

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