Stephen Colbert Admits Biden Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal
But the “Late Show” host also pointed out how Trump confessed he “started” the withdrawal process and that Democrats “couldn’t stop the process.”
Following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s subsequent rapid takeover of the country, Stephen Colbert on Monday leveled bipartisan shots at the presidential administrations responsible for the 20-year war.
Comparisons have been made between the U.S. military’s departure from South Vietnam in 1975—specifically the evacuation via helicopter of the U.S. embassy in Saigon—with the hurried, chaotic and deadly exit from Kabul. But a key Biden administration official rejected the reference to the final days of what had been America’s longest war until the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan surpassed it.
Colbert cited comments made Sunday by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who maintained that the situation “is manifestly not Saigon.”
“True,” Colbert retorted. “In Saigon, they speak Vietnamese.”
The late-night host then played a clip of ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz calling out the Biden administration for its “massive intelligence failure” regarding not foreseeing the speed with which the Taliban would take control of the country.
“‘Massive intelligence failure,’” Colbert said. “That’s got to sting when people describe your foreign policy the same way they describe [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis.”
As Colbert put it, “It’s hard to argue that Biden didn’t shank the withdrawal.” But he noted that criticisms from Republicans like former President Donald Trump don’t hold up because it was Trump’s actions that “set the stage” for the “debacle.”
Trump, who had negotiated with the Taliban the exit of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 2021, called on Biden to resign. However, Colbert noted, Trump bragged just a few months ago that he “started the process [that] all the troops are coming back” and that “they couldn’t stop the process”—presumably referring to Democrats.
“Yes,” Colbert chimed in. “‘They wanted to but they couldn’t stop the process.’ [That’s] also how he describes the birth of Eric [Trump].”