Trump says generals appearing on TV during Afghanistan withdrawal 'made fools out of our country'
The final C-17 carrying service members lifted off from the Kabul airport on Monday
Former President Donald Trump slammed the U.S. military generals who appeared on television amid the withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying they "made fools out of our country."
"What happened after I left, they took over the country," Trump said of the Taliban while speaking on Fox Business’s "Varney & Co." on Tuesday morning. "And there was no fear of America anymore, they had great fear before. Our soldiers are great, we have actually, we have great generals, but they're not the television generals and not the guys you see on television. Who I think it make fools out of themselves, and out of our country."
"The generals we have representing us on television have made fools out of our country. But I dealt with the generals directly, I went to Iraq. And I dealt with generals directly in fighting ISIS. And they knocked him out in four weeks, we knocked them out. And it was an amazing thing, nobody could believe it, but they were real generals," he added.
His comments come after dozens of retired generals and admirals called for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to resign, citing "negligence" with their handling of Afghanistan.
"A fundamental principle in the military is holding those in charge responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions," the open letter said. "There must be accountability at all levels for this tragic and avoidable debacle."
The final C-17 carrying service members lifted off from the Kabul airport on Monday afternoon, yet a "small number" of Americans still remain in Afghanistan and want to leave, according to Biden administration officials.
"There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure," CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said of the closing down of evacuation operations. He acknowledged, "We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out."
President Biden is expected to address the nation on Afghanistan Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki sidestepped a question regarding whether Biden regretted "the manner in which this withdrawal was conducted."
"Well, first I would say that the men and women who gave their lives, the president attended, as you noted, yesterday to honor their service, to honor their sacrifice," Psaki responded. "And he had the opportunity to meet a number of the family members yesterday."
"That doesn’t take the place of all of the work that has been done to evacuate people," she continued. "These 13 individuals sacrificed their lives to save tens of thousands of people, and that is something that should be honored, should be valued, and we will continue to look for ways to do that."
She was again pressed about whether Biden regrets "at all" how "this has played out in the last couple of weeks."
Psaki then repeated that Biden has met with the families of the fallen service members, adding that, "a day or a week where you lose 13 service members is the worst day or the worst week of your presidency."
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"If you just take a step back, beyond yesterday, the president stands by his decision to bring our men and women home from Afghanistan," she continued. "Because if he had not, his view and the view of many experts and military out there, is we would have sent tens of thousands, potentially, or thousands at least more troops back into harm’s way risking more lives and more people to fight a war the Afghans were not willing to fight themselves. Nothing has changed in that regard."