ICYMI: McConnell on The Hugh Hewitt Show

LOUISVILLE, KY – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined The Hugh Hewitt Show this morning. See below for highlights or click here to listen to the full interview:

On the Benefits of Keeping a Small-Force Footprint in Afghanistan:

“This is a colossal mistake. You know, Hugh, I'm somebody who believes that the light-touch deployment we had in Afghanistan was actually working. We didn't have a single one of our military personnel killed in combat in the last year. The lid was tightly on. Al Qaeda was not back in the country. We probably spent more money on this evacuation effort already than we were spending on an annual basis – which by the way it was about one percent of the defense budget we were spending on that, one percent – to keep the terrorists over there rather than making it easy for them to come over here. It was a policy that was actually working.”


On President Biden’s Refusal to Heed Warnings from Military Leadership:

“Well [President Biden] was getting sound military advice. I am absolutely confident because I was talking to the military leadership as well. First of all, the decision to withdraw was something they thought was a mistake and I believe they had said that to the previous president and the one before that. Second, they surely were blindsided by the rather rapid decision and the announcement of it, and this is a botched job all the way around. Rather than President Biden pointing the finger at everybody else, he should point the finger at himself. It was his decision, he owns it, and it's an embarrassment of gargantuan proportions for our country. Look at all the terrorists around the world  they’ve got to be cheering in Syria and Yemen in Africa. They see the Taliban flag flying over the palace in Kabul  it’s just a disaster.”


On Holding the Biden Administration Accountable:

“There's certainly going to be plenty of inquiries, as I just said three defense and foreign policy related committees in the Senate under Democratic Chairmen have already announced that they're beginning a hearing process. We need to find out how this happened, and monitor and keep the pressure on. This job is not over, this withdrawal is not complete until all the Americans are safely out.”


On the Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan and the Need for Increased Defense Funding:

“What about the human rights concerns of Afghan women and girls? Those who cooperated with us? This is a human rights debacle. The worst thing the administration is doing is trying to reduce the defense budget significantly below inflation for the first time in years. That also sends a message to the Chinese and the Russians that we are putting our emphasis, shall I say, elsewhere.”

Related Issues: Afghanistan, America's Military, Al Qaeda, War on Terror