Former President Donald Trump called Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley a “f—king idiot” on Saturday during an event at Mar-a-Lago.
In video of the Trump’s remarks, he is seen talking about the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan that included leaving behind billions in United States military equipment. According to Trump, Milley had suggested leaving the weaponry in Afghanistan rather than removing it during the withdrawal because it would be “cheaper.”
“That’s when I realized he was a f–king idiot,” Trump said, prompting cheers and laughter from the crowd.
Earlier in his speech, Trump criticized the evacuation as a historically embarrassing day for the United States.
“We’ve never had a more embarrassing day, or period, than the way we withdrew [from Afghanistan]. Thirteen soldiers killed. Twenty-eight soldiers so badly injured, so badly injured, like just horribly. And 250 people killed,” the former president said. “And we left $85 billion worth of the best equipment anywhere in the world. Apache helicopters – brand new, by the way – 700,000 machine guns, and rifles and guns. Seven-hundred thousand.”
Trump said the weapons that the Biden administration left behind are “all over the black market,” with many getting into the hands of China and Russia.
“…because they take everything apart, including the Apaches, and they reengineer so they can build it themselves. The Apache is one of the great weapons of the world and now [China and Russia] each have two of them,” Trump said, mockingly adding that the two adversary nations likely said “thank you” and “we appreciate it.”
Trump then noted how he planned to handle the withdrawal, which included getting “every nut, every bolt, and every screw” out of Afghanistan.
“We’re taking everything. We’re taking down the tents. They left all the tents, everything. Couldn’t they have flown in a couple of hundred pilots and flown the planes out? And I’ll never forget Milley saying to me, ‘Sir. Sir, it’s cheaper to leave the equipment than to bring it,’” Trump said while doing a rough impression of the top general.
“I said, ‘Huh? You’ve got a $50 million dollar airplane, you’ve got a $29 million gorgeous helicopter – we had every type of helicopter, many of them brand new, literally out of the box. You mean you think it’s cheaper to leave it there so they can have it than it is to fill it up with a half a tank of gas and fly it into Pakistan or fly it back to our country?’”
“’Yes sir, we think it’s cheaper, sir,’” Trump continued, apparently quoting Milley. “That’s when I realized he was a f—king idiot.”