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In an exclusive wide-ranging interview with Fox News, former President Donald Trump slammed President Joe Biden’s failures in Afghanistan, suggested he could relocate to New York City one day if the city ever recovers from outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “leadership” and explained where Democrats went wrong in Virginia.
He was particularly upset over the current president’s catastrophic pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and maintained that the pullout would have turned out differently had he still been at the helm.
“What they did with the so-called withdrawal, which was really a surrender, what they did, it was the most embarrassing, horrible thing, and I don’t know that we ever psychologically recover from that,” he told Fox News.
“Don’t forget, I’m the one that brought it down to 2,500 troops. I would have been out too, but we would have been out with strength. We would have come out with strength.”
One big difference, he revealed, is that he would have kept control of Bagram Air Base.
US reportedly ‘abandoned’ Bagram in dead of night without telling Afghans, looters seize on security lapse https://t.co/kI5Wb9Q0ef pic.twitter.com/s42JJzkYEJ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 6, 2021
“We would have kept Bagram because it is next to China. And it is one hour away from their nuclear facility, and we gave that up too. And now China’s going to take over Bagram, in my opinion,” he said.
Indeed, the Chinese military has been “conducting a feasibility study about the effect of sending workers, soldiers and other staff related to its foreign economic investment program known as the Belt and Road Initiative in the coming years to Bagram,” according to a source who spoke with in September by U.S. News & World Report.
The Chinese government has for its part denied this rumor.
The former president also aimed criticism at the current president and his top generals for their decision to abandon machinery, Americans and U.S. allies in Afghanistan.
“We would have gotten all the people out, we would have brought all of our equipment out, we wouldn’t have had dead soldiers, we wouldn’t have soldiers missing arms and legs — because people don’t even talk about that — we lost 13, but we have many that have been gravely wounded. None of that would have happened,” he said.
He added, “It was time to get out, but the way he got out was such a disaster.”
This is a sentiment shared by many:
I support withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan and ending nation building abroad.
But Biden had no plan, the intelligence community failed, and now we must live with the consequences of his disastrous strategic failures. @BloombergTV pic.twitter.com/N4Mb8tCs4n
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) August 17, 2021
I support ending the war in Afghanistan, but Biden’s withdrawal & lack of a plan to get people out of the country is a colossal failure. He’s pointed the finger at everyone & taken no responsibility. There are Americans stranded w/out support from @StateDept as to how to get out.
— Rep. Austin Scott (@AustinScottGA08) August 16, 2021
As ABC well knows, the issue is not the idea of withdrawing from Afghanistan. That has almost unanimous support.
The issue is that hapless Joe Biden screwed it up so badly that it’s become a humanitarian disaster and global embarrassment.
But ABC knows this. https://t.co/4KWQUNpHTZ
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) August 17, 2021
Again… the criticism is not about the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but about the way it has been handled. Most Americans support ending the war.
— Cristina Londoño Rooney (@CristiLondono) August 22, 2021
Speaking about his hometown, the president said de Blasio “destroyed the city” and expressed hope that his successor, Eric Adams, does “good.”
“Look at what’s happened to New York. When I left, you could see the effects, he was having some effects already with crime and people on the streets and dirt,” he said of NYC under its current mayor.
Asked whether he might one day move back, he seemingly left the door open.
“I don’t know. Look, I have a good relationship with New York. I love New York, it’s a great place,” he said to Fox News.
Last but not least, the president offered some insight into why Democrats got trounced in Virginia last week.
“If you look at what happened in Virginia, it’s very interesting. They used my name — the Democrats — so much that they ended up losing. One of the reasons [McAuliffe] lost is because he kept saying Trump, Trump, Trump,” he told Fox News.
“And the greatest base in the history of politics came out at a level that they never would have if he wasn’t so foolish — and I’m using a nice word — foolish. He was a terrible candidate on the Democrat side, and Glenn was a very good candidate and a gracious candidate.”
It’s certainly true that Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe had made the race about Trump. But it’s also true that Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin had made it about parents’ rights.
In fact, exclusive early exit polling data showed that 63.6 percent of Virgnia voters had been motivated primarily by “the issue of parental control and involvement in education.”
Exclusive exit poll data shows why Youngkin won and what the Dems are in for now https://t.co/Qr9xSvJ3R3 pic.twitter.com/gmsYHQDTiJ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 3, 2021
The polling data also found that a 56.7 percent majority of voters had felt dislike for Trump, while a 52.3 percent majority had also felt disdain for Biden.
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