President Joe Biden continues to face criticism for his administration's chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war in the country.
The frantic effort to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies has led to thousands gathering outside the Kabul International Airport, where more than 100 thousand people have been evacuated in recent weeks to escape the fundamentalist Taliban regime. As a result, the area has been a target for terrorist attacks, with one explosive killing more than 100 Afghans and 13 American service members.
The airport was targeted again by suicide bombers over the weekend, but the attack was thwarted by Defense and Intelligence officials through a coordinated drone strike.
The situation remains fraught, so naturally, former President Donald Trump is breathlessly issuing statements and interviews slamming the Biden administration over the debacle.
During his time in the White House, Trump extended unprecedented good will toward the Taliban, who harbored the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The former President offered to meet them at Camp David and secured the release of 5000 Taliban prisoners.
In a recent interview with conservative radio broadcaster Hugh Hewitt, Trump was asked about his 2020 discussion with Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Trump delivered a bizarre, rambling answer, which in part said:
I knew as soon as I spoke to him. And even the introduction, I say hello, and he screamed something very tough. And I then started with him. I said, listen, before we start the longtime conversation and conversations that we're going to have, I have to say one thing, and I'll never have to say it again to you. And here's what I say. If you do anything bad to the United States of America ... I will hit you harder than anybody has ever been hit in world history. You will be hit harder than any country and any person has ever been hit in world history. ... And then he asked me one question, and I'd rather not repeat that question, because it's a very scary question. But he asked me one question, and I gave him the answer yes. And then after it was all done, I said OK, now I've said what I'm going to say. Let's have a conversation.
The nearly incoherent diatribe left people confused, including CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza, who wrote of the exchange:
"Let's leave aside the fact that it appears as though Trump simply doesn't know Baradar's name -- even with prompting from Hewitt. And that Trump claimed that he single-handedly averted nuclear war because he sat down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Instead, focus on Trump's description of his conversation with Baradar. And start here: The answer runs 588 words. That's roughly three and a half minutes of speaking -- uninterrupted. Which, well, wow."
People shared his amazement.
@ChrisCillizza The further his presidency recedes into history the more ludicrous it seems we had to endure it to begin with.— Kdaddie (@Kdaddie) 1630237911.0
Some had a guess for what the "scary question" was.
@ChrisCillizza Its relevant that TFG didn’t want to tell the world that he committed himself to nuke the Taliban if… https://t.co/7Nna55upTJ— Jahof (@Jahof) 1630209197.0
@ChrisCillizza "I truly have no idea what that one question could have possibly been. And why would Trump not want… https://t.co/Y5uRuYFQ0g— The Sierra News🌲Calaveras🌲Tuolumne🌲Alpine🌲CA04 (@The Sierra News🌲Calaveras🌲Tuolumne🌲Alpine🌲CA04) 1630257988.0
But the lengthy screed wasn't the only part of the interview that stood out.
In the run-up to the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Donald Trump is doing interviews with conservative media - in this c… https://t.co/tmki3vlNKj— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1630009955.0
Donald Trump on Soleimani in 2021 vs. 2015. No follow-up question. But, then, one certainly couldn't expect the h… https://t.co/eeRfqmhrQy— Philip Bump (@Philip Bump) 1630026140.0
Trump says on Hugh Hewitt show that he's decided who he'll back to challenge Liz Cheney: "...I just picked somebody… https://t.co/jtOYVhphLw— Dave Clarke (@Dave Clarke) 1629998657.0
Trump has yet to reveal whether he plans to run for reelection in 2024.