Earlier President Donald Trump President Joe Biden hammered on the deadly suicide attacks outside Kabul International Airport Thursday, claiming in a videoed statement that “it wouldn’t have happened if I was your president.”
The 45th president released the two-minute, 15-second statement to Fox News ahead of an appearance on the cable network’s “Hannity” program. In his remarks, Trump commemorated the 13 US servicemen who died in the “wild and barbaric” attacks, which also killed at least 60 Afghans and were claimed by the ISIS-K terror group.
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“These noble American warriors have given their lives in the line of duty,” he said. “They have sacrificed themselves for the country they love, racing against time to save their fellow citizens from danger. They died as American heroes and our nation will forever honor their memory.”
The former president also expressed his condolences to the families of the fallen servicemen, saying, “Today all Americans mourn besides you.” He then turned to veterans of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan and told them, “We know what you’ve done, we know how brave you were, and we thank you, we salute you, and we honor you forever. .”
During his performance with host Sean Hannity, Trump criticized the Biden administration for: working with the Taliban in an effort to bring about the withdrawal of thousands of US citizens and Afghans who aided the US-led NATO forces that ousted the Taliban from power in 2001.
“The Taliban is the enemy,” said the former president. “I’ve dealt with the leader of the Taliban… this is a tough, hardened person who has been fighting us for many years, and we now use them to protect us? Look what happened to their protection, 100 people – far more, they say, than 100 people – were killed and 13 of our incredible servicemen were killed, and that’s just the beginning.”
Trump also tried to defend the ceasefire agreement his administration forged with the Taliban in February 2020. He argued that it did not commit the US to a firm withdrawal date, contrary to Biden’s claims.
“We had plenty of time. She [The Taliban] would not move. We had them completely under control,” he said. “We had the planes, we had the Air Force, they had nothing… There was no need to accelerate. It would have taken me two years, three years to get [US forces] from. We were going to get them out quickly, but… we weren’t in a hurry. We checked everything and they were afraid to move.”
“They wouldn’t have done anything without my approval,” Trump continued. “Everything they did was based on conditions, and the greatest condition [was] you can’t kill Americans. And they can go back to their civil war after we’re gone, they can do whatever they want, but you can never kill Americans and you can never come to our homeland, and he [Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Baradar] knew what would happen if they ever did it.”
During a brief press conference at the White House earlier Thursday, Biden insisted that the Trump administration’s deal — which tentatively set a May 1 date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops — had its hands tied.
“Imagine where we would be if I had indicated that I would not renegotiate an evacuation date on May 1; we would stay there,” the president said. “I would have only one alternative: send thousands of additional troops back to Afghanistan to fight a war we had already won, relatively [to] the reason we went in the first place.”
Trump lamented Thursday night that “Biden came in and they saw weakness.
“He did nothing, and then they took over and we ran and we just destroyed the image of our great country, of our incredible warriors – and they are incredible warriors, but they need leadership at the top and they have it.” not… He talks like a tough guy, and he’s not a tough guy. He’s the exact opposite and the world knows.”
Thursday’s attack killed the first US military combat casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020weeks before the ceasefire was agreed. It was the deadliest day for US troops in Afghanistan since August 5, 2011, when: Taliban forces shot down a Chinook helicopter, which killed 31 US servicemen and seven members of the Afghan security forces.