House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) went on MSNBC on Monday morning to say that President Joe Biden can’t blame his predecessor Donald Trump for the current mess in Afghanistan.
“Look, I think this president is the commander in chief today,” McCaul said. “He made the decision to pull out. To blame this on the prior administration, I think, is ill-conceived because, the fact is, this was a conditions-based agreement. The conditions were not being followed by the Taliban. They violated it in many respects in terms of not breaking their ties with al Qaeda. they have now attacked the provincial capitals.”
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“This president can’t blame the prior administration,” the Texas Republican added. “He has to take responsibility, accountability for his own actions, which have led to this unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. It is an absolute disaster.”
“I want to commend you, Andrea, and the press for asking the tough questions,” McCaul told host Andrea Mitchell. “I’ve asked this administration for months, when are you going to get the interpreters out, when are you going to get our Afghan partners out of there, when are you going to have ISR intelligence capability out of the country? They have done none of this, and now it’s a scramble to the airport, and none of the planes are flying out right now. It’s essentially closed down. I think this is really even. It could be worse than Saigon itself.”
“Some people are saying was this an intelligence failure, military intelligence or other intelligence but was it? ” Mitchell asked.
“This was a political failure,” McCaul said. “The intelligence community got this right. I got the briefings. I can’t go into detail, but they predicted within six months, then three months. Actually, the Taliban worked even faster. But their assessments, Andrea, were always very, very grim. It was the State Department and the politicos and the White House that painted this rosy picture that somehow these deals, these talks with the Taliban, were going to bear fruit at some point in time. They held onto that sort of myth, if you will, almost to the bitter end.”
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