Recognizing His Election Loss, Trump Tried To Make A ‘Catastrophic’ National Security Move

by | Oct 13, 2022 | Politics

In November 2020, as Donald Trump was falsely declaring in public that he’d won the presidential election, he privately ordered a rapid withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and Somalia — attempting to fulfill a long-held plan and ensure a mess for President-elect Joe Biden.On Thursday, the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump demonstrators on Jan. 6, 2021, highlighted Trump’s move as evidence that he knew he was spreading a dangerous lie.Advertisement“Knowing he had lost and that he had only weeks in office, President Trump rushed to complete his unfinished business,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of the two Republicans on the congressional committee, said during a televised hearing. “One key example is this: President Trump issued an order for large-scale U.S. troop withdrawals.”Trump issued the directive on Nov. 11, 2020. Axios reporters Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu revealed the existence of the memo last year. Jan. 6 committee investigators confirmed that Trump personally approved the proposal, and that his top national security staff thought it would spell disaster. On Thursday, the committee played footage from the relevant interviews. “If I ever saw something like that, I would do something physical, because I thought what that was doing was a tremendous disservice to the nation,” Keith Kellogg, who was the national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence at the time, told the committee. “An immediate departure that that memo said would have been catastrophic … It would have been a debacle.”John McEntee, who was one of Trump’s closest aides, told committee investigators he drafted the order along with an aide, and that he secured the president’s signature on the memo. The proposal called for stunning speed: Trump wanted thousands of troops removed from two complex war-torn countries before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. AdvertisementMark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the investigators he viewed Trump’s pitch as “nonstandard [and] potentially dangerous.”“I personally thought it was militarily not feasible nor wise,” Milley said. Trump “disregarded concerns about the consequences for fragile governments on the front lines of the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda terrorists,” Kinzinger said Thursday. “These are the highly consequential actions of a president who knows his term will shortly end.”Milley, then …

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