“It never had to happen,” Pence said of Biden’s Afghan crisis.
“The deal that our administration negotiated actually was finished in February of 2020. That was a matter of weeks after President Trump gave the order to take out Qassem Soleimani. It was just a few months after we had eliminated the ISIS caliphate and taken down Abubakr al-Baghdadi.”
Pence said he was in the room when Trump warned Taliban leader Abdul Baradar of grave consequences if Americans were harmed in Afghanistan – and that Baradar’s voice belied his understanding that the Palm Beach Republican meant what he said.
“We went 18 months without a single American casualty in Afghanistan,” he said.
“Weakness arouses evil, Sean, and there’s no question that the weakness evidenced by the Biden administration — I would say beginning when they were silent when thousands of rockets were raining down on our cherished ally Israel from Hamas — sent signals into Afghanistan that we would not respond.”
Pence, a former Indiana governor and congressman, said he recently spent time with the family of fellow Hoosier State native Humberto Sanchez – one of the 13 U.S. military servicemembers killed in a suicide bomb attack during Biden’s withdrawal.
Pence added that Biden’s weakness on the world stage is inexplicably contrasted by “heavy-handed” governance toward American citizens.
“We have a president who is weak abroad but very content to be lecturing the American people about vaccine mandates,” he said, adding that Biden is also acting with abandon in his quest to see what the former vice president called “the largest tax increase in the history of the country” through Congress.
“We have got to dig in, tell the story of what they’re doing. I truly do believe that the voice of the American people can turn back this massive big government socialist bill. I am doing my level best,” he said.
During his interview, Pence also commented on continued speculation about his relationship with Trump following their disagreement over the certification of election results while the vice president was presiding over the U.S. Senate.
“You can’t spend almost five years in the political foxhole with somebody without developing a strong relationship,” he said.
“January 6 was a tragic day in history of our country. But thanks to the efforts of the Capitol Hill police, federal officials, the Capitol was secured and we finished our work. The president and I sat down a few days later and talked through all of it. I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration and we have talked a number of times since we both left office.”
Pence said he and Trump are united in a focus toward the 2022 midterms, as well as races like Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial bid in Virginia.
He said the media is trying to use his and Trump’s relationship as a speculative wedge to distract from Biden’s failures, as well as to “demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020.”
“For our part, I truly believe we all ought to remain completely focused on the future. That’s where I’m focused.”