Donald Trump said in an interview published Tuesday terrorists were ‘absolutely’ airlifted out by U.S. forces during the chaotic and rushed withdrawal from Afghanistan last month and warned the Taliban could send equipment left behind to China or Russia.
‘The people they are resettling — it’s the worst. There was no vetting,’ the former president told Fox News in warning Afghan refugees resettling in the U.S. could pose a national security threat.
‘And it is probably a tough group of people, because they were able to get on the plane, so they were aggressive,’ he said. ‘What does that mean? Does that mean you have terrorists there? Absolutely you do.’
He also slammed the Biden administration for leaving billions of dollars worth of military equipment behind, including night-vision goggles.
Between 2003-2016, according to a Government Accountability Office report, the U.S. supplied Afghan defense and security forces with an arsenal including 208 aircraft, 42,000 pickup trucks, 22,000 Humvees, 9,000 MTV cargo and transport trucks, 1,000 mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, 200 armored personnel carriers, and hundreds of thousands of rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket propelled weapons and night vision goggles.
More has been provided since then.
Trump lambasted President Joe Biden for his efforts to resettle Afghans in the U.S. and insisted the vetting process was not adequate enough to prevent terrorists, sympathizers or other threats from Afghanistan from gaining entry.
‘With respect to the resettlement of Afghan refugees, this is a significant concern,’ Trump-era Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told DailyMail.com.
‘I’m gravely concerned about it, because what I’m seeing now is, you know, after the first couple of days you saw the flights go down dramatically – and that was actually a good thing from my perspective because that meant they were doing some sort of vetting in Afghanistan,’ he explained. ‘And then all of the sudden – the horrible political optics of that – and then you saw the numbers skyrocket.’
He noted that a swift evacuation leads to very minimal vetting before putting people on planes.
Biden’s team announced in August that it airlifted more than 124,000 individuals from Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city of Kabul, including approximately 6,000 U.S. citizens.
Trump said in his interview with Fox News: ‘There has never been a war — win, lose or draw — and you bring everybody into your country. That’s a lot of people, and at a tremendous cost already—they’re talking about billions and billions of dollars.’
He also said that the Taliban will obtain U.S. military night-vision goggles that will enable them to fight in the dark.
‘The goggles are the best in the world, they now have thousands of goggles,’ Trump said. ‘They are going to do night fighting, which they would have never done before.’
Before evacuating all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, troops destroyed or disassembled about 100 combat vehicles and dozens of aircraft. Still, the Taliban was able to inherit a number of other U.S. gear – including assault weapons and night-vision goggles.
Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal has been widely criticized by both sides as a disaster. The process resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in an ISIS-K suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport, which appears to have been met with no retaliation from the U.S.
The administration also decided to leave hundreds of American citizens behind in Afghanistan to meet the August 31 deadline for withdrawal that Biden set with the Taliban. The Islamic militant group, which took over Afghanistan in the matter of two weeks, said if U.S. forces were not gone by the ‘redline’ date there would be ‘consequences.’
Many saw Biden sticking to that date rather than making sure all Americans and allies were out of Afghanistan before withdrawing as him bowing to the Taliban.
Since shifting away from a military mission in Afghanistan, Biden’s team says it is now focused on a ‘diplomatic’ relationship. They have insisted this includes continuing to evacuate Americans left behind in the bungled withdrawal.