Pompeo hits Biden over Afghanistan: ‘A debacle of significant proportions’
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed President Biden for his handling of Afghanistan and the administration’s efforts to evacuate Americans from the country, calling it “a debacle of significant proportions.”
“Today, what President Biden said frankly made it worse. I didn’t hear a single thing from him today that would have given comfort to those families. There’s still no plan to get these Americans back. I didn’t hear a single thing that would give comfort to the very allies you spoke about,” Pompeo told Fox’s Sean Hannity on Friday.
“This is a debacle of significant proportions. We haven’t seen anything like this, the United States, in an awfully long time. America has the tools to fix this,” Pompeo added. “Our military could certainly figure out a way to go get these folks back and to destroy some of these billions of dollars in equipment that we left behind, but it’s going to take American resolve and leadership, and President Biden has refused to show this for the entire time.”
Giving remarks from the East Room on Friday, Biden acknowledged that this was “one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history.”
The Biden administration has drawn criticism from lawmakers who have raised serious concerns over how officials have been handling the evacuation flights.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin acknowledged reports this week regarding challenges that Afghans and Americans faced in getting to the airport in Kabul.
“We have seen reports that the Taliban, contrary to their public statements and their commitments to our government, are blocking Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport,” Sherman told reporters on Wednesday.
In a phone call with lawmakers on Friday, Austin said he was “aware” that Afghans and Americans who were trying to get to the airport “have been harassed or even beaten by the Taliban.”
Biden’s remarks, however, suggested the opposite regarding Americans trying to get to the airport in Kabul, saying they “have no indication that they haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport.”
“We’ve made an agreement with the — with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through. So, we know of no circumstance where American citizens are — carrying an American passport — are trying to get through to the airport,” Biden said.
However, Pompeo argued that he did not hear “a single thing” from Biden that would frighten the Taliban or make them fear any kind of retribution from the U.S., including for their role in making it difficult for Americans to get to the Kabul airport.