Donald Trump has blasted Joe Biden over the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and accused him of giving the US military away to the Taliban as he appeared at a rally for thousands of supporters in Cullman, Alabama.
‘This will go down as one of the greatest military defeats of all time,’ Trump said.
Trump called the situation in Afghanistan a humiliation, claiming it’s not a withdrawal but rather ‘a total surrender’.
The former President told the massive crowd gathered in the deep red state that ‘this would have never happened if I was president.’
He said: ‘The issue here is not whether to leave Afghanistan, the issue is Joe Biden’s staggering incompetence and gross negligence. Creating the greatest strategic humiliation that we’ve ever seen as a country.
‘With me in office the Taliban would not have ever dreamt of capturing our airfield or parading around with our American weapons.
‘There would have been no emergency Embassy evacuation and no taking down of our flag. Because we would have established clear lines that the Taliban would never have dared to cross.
‘The problem with Biden is that our enemies are not afraid of him, they don’t respect him.’
Trump called the Afghanistan withdrawal a humiliation, claiming it is ‘a total surrender’
Trump also defended his original negotiations with Taliban leaders, after he was criticized for meeting with the warlord leaders while in office
It came as pictures emerged of Taliban fighters bearing a combination of U.S. military hardware and that used by Afghan forces, likely seized as Western and allied forces withdrew from the country.
‘Our military is being given to the enemy,’ he said.
Trump also defended his original negotiations with Taliban leaders, after he was criticized for meeting with the warlord leaders while in office.
‘Who the hell else am I supposed to be negotiating with’, he asked.
Trump made a conditional peace deal with the Taliban in 2020 to reduce the number of Afghan troops if the Taliban did not provide support to terrorists.
Trump agreed to a full military withdrawal by May 1 of this year. The Biden administration has blamed Trump for the timeline leading to the botched withdrawal.
Biden extended the deadline to September 11 and then pledged to have all US troops out by August 31.
And Trump said he was tough in the negotiations and told warned the Taliban: ‘If anything happens we will reign terror upon you.’
‘Don’t touch our American citizens,’ Trump said he told the Taliban leader. ‘Don’t touch our American citizens.’
It came as pictures emerged of Taliban fighters bearing a combination of U.S. military hardware and that used by Afghan forces, likely seized as Western and allied forces withdrew from the country
Trump said: ‘The issue here is not whether to leave Afghanistan, the issue is Joe Biden’s staggering incompetence and gross negligence’
Trump called the situation in Afghanistan a humiliation, claiming it’s not a withdrawal but rather ‘a total surrender’
He also owned his decision to set a deadline for withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan, claiming after 20 years it was time to leave the region and let them fight out their civil war without Americans lives lost in the process.
In just over a week, the Taliban was able to takeover almost all of Afghanistan, including the capital city of Kabul.
President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal was slammed by all sides.
And Trump said: ‘Joe Biden is a failed president, he will always be a failed president. He’s ushered in one calamity after another’.
The pregame show before Trump took stage included a short speech by Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville.
He lauded the crowd size, claiming there were people as far as he could see onto the field at York Family Farms.
‘They used to call it Woodstock, this is Trump-stock here in Cullman County,’ he said to massive cheers.
Trump’s rally came in muggy mid-80s weather, which was only broken after a bout of rain struck the farm grounds.
Hundreds of supporters waited out a 45-minute thunderstorm after gaining entry to the rally venue. Thousands more continued to wait in line outside the farm grounds in the rain.
Trump also defended his decision to set a deadline for withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan
Trumps said Afghanistan ‘will go down as one of the greatest military defeats of all time’
Many donned red ‘Keep America Great’ plastic ponchos.
Trump traveled to the deep red state on Saturday for the first time since his rally on February 28, 2016 in Madison, Alabama as he looks to help Representative Mo Brooks in running for the Senate.
To the right of the stage was a whole tent dedicated to Brooks’ Senate campaign.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is retiring at the end of his sixth term and, so far, four Republicans are vying in the 2022 midterms primaries to replace him – Brooks, Lynda Blanchard, Katie Britt and Jessica Taylor.
Trump slammed Shelby last month for endorsing Britt, who previously served as the senator’s chief of staff.
‘She’s like family. She’d make a good candidate. She’s probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time,’ Shelby said of Britt, according to a June report. ‘I’d support her, I’d vote for her.’
President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal was slammed by all sides
Trump used that opportunity to lash out against Shelby, Britt and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
‘I see that the RINO Senator from Alabama, close friend of Old Crow Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, is pushing hard to have his ‘assistant’ fight the great Mo Brooks for his Senate seat,’ he wrote in a statement at the time.
‘She is not in any way qualified and is certainly not what our Country needs or not what Alabama wants,’ he continued. ‘For Mitch McConnell to be wasting money on her campaign is absolutely outrageous.’
He also issued his endorsement for Brooks during that July 10 statement.
‘Vote for Mo Brooks! He stands for America First, and everything Alabama wants. He also has my Complete and Total Endorsement.’
People who lined up hours before the former president’s arrival on Saturday ran to try and grab the limited seats available at York Family Farms as the audience started pouring into the venue around 2:15 p.m. – nearly five hours before Trump’s expected start time.
Outside of a few hundred seats, there was room for thousands more to stand.
As attendees made it through Secret Service checks, they were greeted with live music, a food vendor and a free water station handing out Blue Spring Living Water, which comes from Blount, Alabama.
There were also food vendors available outside the security perimeter for Trump supporters to snack on as they waited in line.
Social Media site Gettr, which was created by former Trump aide and spokesman Jason Miller, was prominently promoted at the rally.
People lined up hours before the former president’s arrival on Saturday in Cullman, Alabama
A plane flew around York Daily Farms with a banner behind it reading: ‘Twitter Sucks, Join Gettr’.
The social media platform officially launched on July 4, 2021 as an obvious conservative alternative to Twitter, as the interface and gestures have been described as similar to Jack Dorsey’s site.
Many MAGA followers started seeking social media sites that wouldn’t stifle or censor their posts and shares.
Parler emerged as the clear alternative as a site that wouldn’t censor posts and accounts, but that quickly turned sour when Apple took the app off its App Store.
Gettr emerged months later as an anti-censorship social media platform.
A top ally previewed to DailyMail.com that Trump would issue his strongest signal he’s running in 2024 at the rally Saturday evening.
‘It’s time for real leadership in the White House ,’ the ally said the former president would say.
Trump has joined Democrats and Republicans in spending the past week attacking President Joe Biden for his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The former president is expected to ask whether Americans can be safe anywhere in the world with Biden in the White House, an ally who saw drafts of the speech revealed ahead of the remarks.
‘I’m expecting to hear the president use the line: ‘It’s time for real leadership in the White House,’ he said.
‘And even though aides say there is no final announcement, no final decision it still is the clearest indicator that he’s likely to run in 2024.’
Trump has repeatedly hinted that he is planning a run but insiders say no announcement is expected until after next year’s midterms.
Trump traveled to the deep red state on Saturday for the first time since his rally on February 28, 2016 in Madison
He dangled the idea once again this week when Sean Hannity asked him the question live on Fox News.
‘So, because the campaign finance laws are extremely complicated and unbelievably stupid, I am actually not allowed to answer that question, can you believe that? I would love to answer it,’ he said.
‘But let me put it this way, I think you’ll be happy and I think a lot of our friends will be very happy.’
Organizers have publicly said they expect about 20,000 people to attend the rally at York Family Farms on Saturday.
Privately, they say 50,000 people have applied for tickets which could make it the biggest Trump rally in history.
But having been burned last year – when they claimed a million people had RSVPed for a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, only for 6200 to attend – they are reluctant to make such predictions public.
Crowds of tens of thousands present their own problems. Trump arrives in Cullman two days after it announced a public health emergency amid spiralling numbers of COVID-19 cases.
His speech is expected to tie the Afghan withdrawal with other foreign entanglements, from Taiwan’s vulnerability to China and Beijing’s territorial aggression in the South China Sea to Israel and the Middle East, all the way up to America’s southern border.
‘The question is how safe do Americans feel under Joe Biden,’ said the ally.
Biden’s approval ratings have been in freefall, first after a surge in COVID-19 cases and then amid the fall-out from television images of chaos in Kabul.
A Rasmussen Reports poll this week reported that Trump would beat Biden by six points if an election do-over were held now.
Trump insiders say Biden’s bungled handling of the crisis has reminded voters that they miss the former president’s America First message.
Trump himself has seized on the crisis to issue a running commentary with emailed statements and television interviews.
On the eve of the rally, he said: ‘Joe Biden must apologize to America for allowing the military to leave before civilians and for allowing $85 billion dollars worth of sophisticated military equipment to be handed over to the Taliban (and Russia and China so they can copy it) rather than bringing it back to the United States!’
And earlier in the week, he spelled out his concerns in detail to Hannity.
‘It’s not the concept of leaving,’ he said.
‘It’s the way they withdrew. It was not even possible to believe.’
President Biden flew back to the White House from Camp David on Tuesday evening. His approval rating has plunged and the administration is in damage limitation mode as it deals with the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. Making matters worse, Biden has spent days at the presidential retreat rather than at the White House
Former President Trump condemned President Biden’s handling of the Afghan withdrawal, as thousands of Americans await rescue from the country
Biden and his officials have claimed their hands were tied by a deal struck with the Taliban by Trump.
But the former president said he made clear in negotiations there would be consequences if Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s political chief, failed to stick to the terms of their deal.
‘We had a very strong conversation,’ he said.
‘I told them upfront, I said: ‘Look, before we start, let me just tell you right now that if anything bad happens to Americans or anybody else, or if you ever come over to our land, we will hit you with a force that no country has ever been hit with before, a force so great that you won’t even believe it, and your village, and we know where it is – and I named it – will be the first one.’
American officials day they have been in contact with Kabul’s new rulers, the Taliban, who had promised safe passage for those trying to reach the airport.
Trump said the U.S. had never suffered a worse humiliation, with thousands of ‘potential hostages’ stuck in the country.
‘You can go back to Jimmy Carter with the hostages. We all thought that was a great embarrassment and we were pulled out of that by Ronald Reagan,’ he said.
‘This is a many many times worse and you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of Americans and others that are stranded and very dangerously really stranded in Afghanistan.’