Speaking with host Sharyl Attkisson during an interview that aired Sunday on “Full Measure,” Trump excoriated the withdrawal as “incompetent” and warned it will likely endanger the United States and benefit its enemies.
Trump also expressed doubt regarding whether the war in Afghanistan is over, noting how many unvetted Afghan refugees are being resettled in the United States and around the world.
“I don’t know because you have people going all over the world and being dropped all over the world right now, and nobody knows who the hell they are, Sharyl,” Trump said. “These aren’t the interpreters that we took. These were people that rushed into the planes, and they were so interested in trying to make it sound like ‘Oh, they’re doing a good job.’ These people, many of these people are going to be terrorists. OK? They’re going to be terrorists. They were very powerful. They were very energetic in getting onto the aircraft.”
Trump went on to suggest the nation’s adversaries are already taking advantage of the stockpile of weapons, armored vehicles, and aircraft that U.S. forces left behind.
Taliban fighters sit in the cockpit of an Afghan Air Force aircraft at the airport in Kabul on Aug. 31, 2021, after the U.S. has pulled all its troops out of the country to end a brutal 20-year war — one that started and ended with the hardline Islamist in power. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images) (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
“Now I’m saying, ‘How can they take this equipment?’ And I guarantee that China and Russia already have our Apache helicopters and they’re taking them apart to find out exactly how they’re made. They’re the best in the world by far. And they’re taking them apart so they can make the exact same equipment. They’re very good at that. It’s a disgrace.”
The U.S. has offered approximately $83 billion worth of training and equipment to Afghan security forces since 2001.
The military left behind 73 aircraft in Afghanistan, some of which were disabled, according to USA Today. Pentagon officials said that soldiers operated Apache attack helicopters at the airport. Afghan pilots reportedly flew some of the advanced aircraft to foreign countries and abandoned much of the rest.