Trump claims he slammed Gen. Milley when he suggested leaving $80bn of military gear in Afghanistan


Former President Trump on Saturday said he called Gen. Mark Milley, his most senior military adviser, a ‘nut job’ when he suggested leaving billions of dollars of warfighting gear in Afghanistan.

Trump has repeatedly blasted President Joe Biden‘s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the decision vehicles and weapons that could fall into Taliban hands.

In front of thousands of supporters in Iowa, he claimed he told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley that it was a terrible idea when he was president. 

He said: ‘So when Milley told me that I said: “What are you? A nut job? Are you stupid? 

‘That’s when I realised … that was one of the many times I realised he was stupid.’

Trump has attacked Milley repeatedly in recent weeks after reports emerged that the nation’s most senior military figure feared Trump might launch a coup in the wake of his election defeat. 

Before the rally began, the crowd was shown part of Gen. George S. Patton’s famous speech to the Third Army in 1944 – as delivered in the 1970 film of his life by George C. Scott. 

Gen. Mark Milley

Former President Trump claimed he called Gen. Mark Milley a ‘nut job’ when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed leaving billions of dollars of U.S. hardware in Afghanistan

Critics have accused the Biden administration of allowing weapons and aircraft to fall into the hands of the Taliban. But U.S. officials say the equipment was not in a usable condition

Critics have accused the Biden administration of allowing weapons and aircraft to fall into the hands of the Taliban. But U.S. officials say the equipment was not in a usable condition

Former President Trump blasted members of his own party during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday night. The visit - to a key state in the 2024 nomination race - will be seen as another sign that Trump is planning to run for the White House again

Former President Trump blasted members of his own party during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday night. The visit – to a key state in the 2024 nomination race – will be seen as another sign that Trump is planning to run for the White House again

The crowd was shown part of General Patton's famous 1944 speech, as portrayed by George C. Scott in the 1970 movie

The crowd was shown part of General Patton’s famous 1944 speech, as portrayed by George C. Scott in the 1970 movie

‘Americans, traditionally, love to fight,’ he says. ‘All real Americans love the sting of battle.’ 

Trump compared the storied general with what he described as today’s ‘TV generals,’ asking: ‘Do you think George Patton would have left early out of Afghanistan?

‘Do you think he would have left dead soldiers for no reason whatsoever. Do you think he would have left $85 billion dollars worth of the best equipment?’ 

The U.S. spent more than $80 billion dollars supporting the Afghan military, although much of that was spent on training and salaries rather than equipment. 

‘You know what I realized? He went to Biden and said the same thing,’ continued Trump. ‘It is cheaper to leave the equipment than take it out.’

His visit to Iowa, with its place at the start of the nominating calendar, is the latest piece in a will-he, won’t-he dance as the former president teases a 2024 run.

But it was supposed to be a chance to boost Republican candidates in next year’s midterms.

He made clear it was the right kind of Republicans he wanted to boost, ‘America First’ Republicans. 

His visit came as lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 violence tighten their focus on Trump and his top aides. 

On Friday, the former president said he would do everything possible to shield his presidential records from the investigation, setting up a potential legal battle after the White House said he had no right to claim ‘executive privilege.

And it follows new books picking over the Trump presidency with a stream of embarrassing headlines. 

Saturday brought a chance for the former president to adopt the role of entertainer in front of his fans in Iowa.

The state is a key place for anyone considering a 2024 run. Its status as the first caucus allows can allow candidates to catapult themselves into contention with a strong ground game.

Trump was making his first visit to Iowa since last year's election campaign. It is a key state for anyone planning launching a run for the White House

Trump was making his first visit to Iowa since last year’s election campaign. It is a key state for anyone planning launching a run for the White House

Thousands of people waited all day for Trump to appear a little before 8pm local time

Thousands of people waited all day for Trump to appear a little before 8pm local time

Insiders say it holds particular importance for Trump. He was the first Republican to win the state since George W. Bush in 2004 – despite losing the caucus to Sen. Ted Cruz. 

The latest polling suggests he has grown in popularity since leaving office.

The latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows 53 percent of Iowans have a favourable viewing of the former president, giving him his highest ever rating.

He got a warm welcome from Sen. Chuck Grassley who touted Trump’s record as one of promises made and promises kept.

‘President Trump ran on a platform of tax cuts, and he delivered the biggest tax cut in the history of the country,’ he said to roars of approval.

‘President Trump ran on a platform of criminal justice reform, and he signed the criminal justice reform that I sponsored. 

‘President Trump ran on a platform of securing the borders and the borders were secure.’

Amid all the talk of 2024, the moment was a reminder the rally was a chance for Trump to rally support ahead of next year’s midterms.

‘Iowa is absolutely critical to our efforts to take back the House and Senate in 2022, and then the White House in 2024,’ he said in a fundraising message to supporters this week.  

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was among the speakers after recently announcing that he planned to run for an eighth term in next year's midterms

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was among the speakers after recently announcing that he planned to run for an eighth term in next year’s midterms

Crowds browsed dozens of stalls selling Trump merchandise - from T-shirts, pins and koozies to knives - before the gates to the event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds opened on Saturday

Crowds browsed dozens of stalls selling Trump merchandise – from T-shirts, pins and koozies to knives – before the gates to the event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds opened on Saturday

But it also gave him a chance to put on a show for his supporters with attacks on his favorite targets. 

He railed against Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic Kabul airlift.

‘They had no idea who is getting on those planes. We still don’t have any idea,’ he said. 

‘Only three percent were qualified to be taken to a place called the United States of America, is that something? Three percent. 

‘You’re going to be hearing from those people over the coming years, in a very bad way.’

He dismissed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a ‘nut job’ and called on his supporters to sweep Democrats from Congress.

‘They’ve all got to go,’ he said. 

‘Practically every single Democrat lawmaker in the House and Senate has endorsed deranged legislation. And that’s why every single one of them has to be voted out of office,’ he said. 



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