Former President Donald Trump criticised his successor’s handling of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying he would have gotten Americans and equipment out of the country before military personnel and that he had an agreement with the Taliban he was willing to back up with force.
“It’s a great thing that we’re getting out, but nobody has ever handled a withdrawal worse than Joe Biden,” Trump said in an televised interview with Fox News Host Sean Hannity on Tuesday. “This is the greatest embarrassment, I believe, in the history of our country.”
There was chaos at Kabul’s international airport on Monday as people desperately tried to flee after Taliban fighters took control of the capital as U.S. forces left. The Biden administration said the U.S. has now secured the airport and cleared the way for thousands of Americans to evacuate, but Trump said there could be as many as 40,000 “potential hostages” left behind.
Trump, who had promised to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, reached an agreement with the Taliban when he was in office that set a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal with conditions. The former president said he told the top Taliban leader that if any Americans were harmed “we will hit you with a force that no country has ever been hit with before.”
Biden has defiantly defended his decision, but acknowledged the Afghan government fell more quickly than anticipated. He said the Trump administration’s agreement “left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001.”
Trump, who has teased another run for the White House in 2024, would not confirm his plans on Tuesday, but added “I think you’ll be happy.”