‘I really believe it’s gross incompetence,’ Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Greg Gutfeld on Wednesday. ‘The only thing good about Afghanistan is that it makes what they’re doing on the border look good.’
‘Our country has never been more unsafe. We have people pouring in through our southern border, which everyone is forgetting about right now because of the travesty in Afghanistan,’ he continued.
Illegal crossings at the southern border are at a 21-year high, with US Customs and Border Protection reporting more than 212,000 land encounters in July, a 13 percent increase from June.
Donald Trump has again slammed President Joe Biden’s botched military withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that it made the crisis at the Southern border ‘look good’ in comparison
Migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and the Caribbean walk in a caravan heading to the U.S. in Mexico on Saturday
In the interview, Trump tied the situation in Afghanistan in with his concerns about immigration, claiming that terrorists could have slipped into the US during the mass evacuation of Kabul.
‘People are getting in by the hundreds and by the thousands and these are not the people necessarily that wanted the protection. So many terrorists are coming in in. They pushed their way onto the plane,’ Trump said.
The Department of Homeland Security says about 60,000 people have arrived in the US since August 17 from Afghanistan
All undergo security screening at military bases in Europe or the Middle East before being allowed to enter the US.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says a small number of evacuees have been prevented from entering the U.S. through ‘multi-layered’ security vetting but he declines to provide specific numbers of provide details about the cases.
Trump’s new interview comes as he increasingly appears to be laying the groundwork for a campaign in 2024.
Perhaps sensing a political opening in the massive public dismay over the situation in Afghanistan, Trump hammered on the subject throughout the interview.
‘They don’t fear [Biden],’ he said of the Taliban, recalling his 2020 negotiations with Taliban leader Abdul Baradar, now the leader of the de facto Afghan government.
‘It’s a question of respect and being smart: I dealt with Abdul — He’s now the head of Taliban and was the head of the Taliban when I dealt with him,’ he said.
Surveillance towers stand between new sections of the primary and secondary steel bollard-style border wall along the US-Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana in May
Taliban soldiers stand guard over surrendered Afghan Militiamen in the Kapisa province northeast of Afghanistan on Wednesday
‘I started off very tough. ‘You’re going to pay tremendous consequences…’ It was bad – and they understood what I said – and there was no way they were going to do anything to us – we could have taken our time, one year or two years [to withdraw].’
Trump again lamented the loss of billions of dollars worth of US military equipment, which was seized by the Taliban as the Afghan national army collapsed and surrendered.
‘We can’t have guns, but the Taliban have 27 each,’ joked Trump.
Meanwhile Trump advisors are talking up Trump’s growing interest in a bid to recapture the White House, with Biden’s approval ratings experiencing a drop after the controversial pullout from Afghanistan.
Former campaign spokesman Jason Miller called a Trump re-run a near certainty in comments last week to Cheddar.
‘I would say somewhere between 99 and 100 percent. I think he is definitely running in 2024,’ Miller said.
Trump advisors are talking up his growing interest in a bid to recapture the White House – now that Biden’s approval ratings are experiencing a drop
‘I had a good conversation with him last night. I’m going to go see him in another couple days here.’
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a firm Trump ally, has said that Trump was not in a hurry to announce because ‘the base is rightly loyal to him. And a good rule in politics is to be a candidate for as short a time as necessary.’
Another Trump loyalist, Rep. Jim Jordan – who spoke to Trump the day of the deadly Capitol riot on January 6 – was captured on video last week saying ‘I know so’ when asked if Trump would run again.
‘I talked to him yesterday. He’s about ready to announce after all of this craziness in Afghanistan,’ Jordan said.