Trump Says White House Blame Over Afghanistan Withdrawal A 'Disinformation Game'

Authored by Caden Pearson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday accused the White House of playing a new “disinformation game” after the Biden administration blamed the previous administration for the chaos that unfolded during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club April 4, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom today to 34 counts related to money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, the first criminal charges for any former U.S. president.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club April 4, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom today to 34 counts related to money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, the first criminal charges for any former U.S. president. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In a statement on Truth Social, Trump criticized the administration of President Joe Biden for its handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, calling them “morons” and accusing them of blaming him for their “grossly incompetent surrender.”

The chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 left 13 service members dead, with billions of dollars worth of military equipment left behind, and saw the Taliban overrun the Middle Eastern country’s government.

Trump firmly stated that Biden was responsible for the outcome and that no one else should be blamed.

I watched this disaster unfold just like everyone else,” he continued. “I saw them take out the Military FIRST, GIVE $85 Billion of military equipment, allow killing of our soldiers, and leave Americans behind. Biden is responsible, no one else!”

Trump’s comments were hitting back at a White House review of the chaotic withdrawal published Thursday.

That review claimed Biden was “constrained” for choices in how to execute a withdrawal because the Trump administration failed to coordinate with the incoming Biden administration in sharing insights on the February 2020 Doha Agreement peace pact.

“President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor,” the report reads.

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said in a media briefing Thursday that outgoing Trump administration officials were not “forthcoming” with insights into the Doha Agreement and their May 2021 withdrawal plans.

“There were multiple attempts to try to gain insight into what the previous team had been doing; none of those plans had been forthcoming,” Kirby said. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. They weren’t sharing.”

Therefore, Kirby said, the Biden administration was “almost starting from scratch” in developing a plan to meet the conditions that the time.

‘I Am Outraged’: Pompeo

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday he disagreed that Biden’s choices were constrained. He argued instead that Biden simply “made a hash” of it and the White House was trying to protect Biden “from embarrassment.”

We didn’t constrain them at all,” Pompeo told Fox News after the report was released. “The Biden administration has demonstrated their willingness to break up good plans that the Trump administration had. Think of our southern border, where we had a good plan in Remain in Mexico,” he continued. “Now thousands and thousands [are] coming across each day.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel And Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on March 3, 2023.
Former U.S. Secretary of State and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel And Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on March 3, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Pompeo said Thursday that it was outrageous for the White House to blame anyone but Biden for the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“I am outraged. I am outraged by the fact that the 13 Americans that were killed there didn’t have to happen,” he said.

Pompeo said the military had clearly told Biden that the withdrawal would likely result in chaos if they publicized the date of withdrawal, which they did.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about. I was the CIA director. I was in the middle of all this,” Pompeo said. “The military, for our entire four years, made very clear to us that if we withdrew too hastily, that if we publically announced the date of withdrawal, that precisely what you just saw happen in the summer of ’21 was a likely outcome. It was a reasonably likely outcome.”

Pompeo denied Kirby’s use of the word “constrained” and argued that U.S. military and intelligence circles had predicted what occurred, as they understood the Taliban well.

“For Kirby today to say that he’s somehow proud of the way we departed, that this wasn’t an ‘unmitigated disaster’—we should just all believe our own eyes. We all saw the video. This was chaotic. Thirteen Americans killed,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said the United States had a “conditions-based” plan, which the Biden administration “botched” as they went about undoing many Trump plans.

“They came in, took the plan that we had, and just botched it. They made a hash of it,” he said. “And the American people have suffered for it. And frankly, America’s standing in the world is continuing to suffer from that, today.”

Kirby’s remarks were also criticized Thursday by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, who said Biden was ultimately to blame for the chaotic withdrawal, having picked the date.

McCaul also criticized the Biden administration’s “overdue decision” to release the Afghanistan withdrawal after-action reports with Congress.

The report wasn’t released until McCaul threatened to subpoena them after multiple requests.

“John Kirby’s comments during today’s White House press briefing were disgraceful and insulting,” McCaul said in a statement. “President Biden made the decision to withdraw and even picked the exact date; he is responsible for the massive failures in planning and execution.”

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