Former President Donald J. Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in a Tuesday night interview that President Joe Biden likely would have remained at Camp David, the woodsy presidential getaway, as the crisis in Afghanistan escalated had it not been for the press pivoting to negative coverage of Biden’s handling of the situation.
The former president initially reacted to Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) comments earlier in the show that Americans have reached out to his office hoping to find a way home. Hundreds of American citizens are trapped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan with no way out as the Taliban expand their stronghold.
The Biden State Department, however, is advising those trapped Americans to log onto the internet, complete a form, and wait for either a text message or phone call.
“[Cotton] said that people are being told to go to a website. ‘Don’t call anymore, go to a website’ like please come and tell me we have a better plan than that,” Hannity said to Trump.
(Video: Fox News)
Trump condemned the report from Cotton, noting the duty we have to the Americans scrambling to find a way home, and said the only impetus for Biden’s brief return to Washington, DC was bad press coverage.
“[H]e only returned because he was getting terrible press. Not for any other reason,” Trump claimed.
President Biden apparently did not think that the crisis warranted a prime time address as he landed in DC, gave brief remarks around 3:45 p.m. EST, took no questions, and then retreated back to his getaway, notably absent from his post as commander-in-chief at a time when the world could really use a leader instead embracing his campaign trail nickname, “Hidin’ Biden”.
“I don’t even believe that he is calling the shots. What you need more than anything is a president that is respected, and you need a president that got rid of ISIS and got 100% got rid of ISIS,” Trump remarked.
The former president addressed a claim by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Fox News’ “Special Report” that the Pentagon was spending about 1% of its budget “keeping the lid on” Afghanistan and its insurgent groups.
“I understand Russia spends $50 billion a year for their entire military. We were spending $42 billion: Not 1%. They were saying 1%. That’s a lot of nonsense. We’re spending $42 billion a year on defending this for years and years… and we get nothing out of any of these things that we do, whether it is them or many other countries,” Trump explained.
Trump added that there are service members including “generals” at home in the U.S. handling this crisis who don’t deserve their posts, but went on to clarify that the bravest of those enlisted continue to be the ones deployed overseas.
He also addressed the consequences of Biden’s actions, particularly when it comes to our greatest competitor, China.
“I think bad things will happen in respect to Taiwan because they don’t respect our leadership and they no longer respect our country. And that’s a really bad thing. China does not respect us any longer,” Trump said.
Known for his peace through strength approach, Trump emphasized that this was a massive failure and a disgrace by Biden and his administration. Hannity asked the former president if he would speak to the Taliban leaders by phone once more as he did during his administration if asked to.
Trump said he would, but noted that that was not a solution. The most important thing is for the president to be leading from a position of strength and instead, Biden has left his command post and pulled back from his elected duty to show up for the American people; opting to instead enjoy his vacation while the rest of the world can only wait, watch and worry.
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