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[WATCH] ‘They Set This Up to Fail’: Kinzinger Rips Into Trump and Pompeo Over Afghanistan

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who sits on the January 6th Select Committee, slammed the former Trump administration’s deal with the Taliban, saying on Sunday that it set the stage for the current failure in Afghanistan.

The Illinois Republican said Donald Trump and his then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are at fault for America’s “disastrous” withdrawal from the country. “Donald Trump was publicly saying, ‘We have to get out of Afghanistan at all costs. It’s not worth it.’ Mike Pompeo meets with the Taliban and tries to ‘negotiate’ something,” Kinzinger said during an appearance on CNN.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 12: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) speaks after the Republican House caucus voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) of her leadership, at the U.S. Capitol on on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. GOP members removed Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership position after she became a target for former President Donald Trump and his followers in the House as she has continually expressed the need for the Republican Party to separate themselves from Trump over his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Trump was eager to remove American troops from Afghanistan and end America’s longest-running war. But he took an unprecedented step to try and fulfill that aim: negotiate directly with the Taliban. His administration engaged in a series of talks with the militant group in Qatar, and even invited them to a secret meeting at the presidential retreat Camp David for the 9/11 anniversary in 2019. Trump later reversed this decision after a Taliban attack killed a US service member in Afghanistan.

Trump has now attempted to absolve himself from the situation and pinned responsibility solely on President Joe Biden for the Taliban’s takeover and the Afghan government’s collapse. But Kinzinger is one of the few members of the GOP willing to publicly hold Trump and his cronies accountable, and pins the blame squarely on them. “They set this up to fail,” he said, referring to the deal the Trump Administration made with the Taliban. “They ended up getting rolled almost as bad as Neville Chamberlain,” he said, referring to the British prime minister who negotiated the 1938 Munich Agreement, which was widely panned as enabling the Nazi invasion of Poland.

President Biden agreed to carry out Trump’s deal and pull out of Afghanistan. This week he defended his withdrawal of US troops, despite receiving widespread criticism from both sides of the aisle amid disturbing scenes coming out of Kabul of people clamoring to leave the country and the resurgence of the Taliban. Kinzinger also places blame on the current administration. “Both parties have failed the American people,” he said.

Watch Rep. Kinzinger’s full appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”, below.



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