(AP) — Former President Donald Trump commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by visiting a fire station and police precinct in New York, where he criticized his successor for the way he pulled out of Afghanistan last month.
SCOOP: NY firefighters break out in applause as President Trump makes surprise visit today pic.twitter.com/FBEhLxBbnf
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 11, 2021
Trump skipped joining President Joe Biden and other past presidents at official 9/11 memorial ceremonies Saturday at the World Trade Center and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Instead, he traveled several blocks from his Trump Tower building in Manhattan to the 17th police precinct and the neighboring fire station. Speaking to officers, Trump criticized the withdrawal from Afghanistan and expressed surprise about why it hadn’t come up in other 9/11 memorial speeches. “It was gross incompetence,” he said of the exit.
Trump was asked by the officers whether he plans to launch a comeback run for the White House in 2024 or for mayor of New York. He said it was an easy decision that would make them happy.
“If I catch COVID, it’s because of you,” Trump said as he posed for photos with police officers.
Trump planned to end the day in Florida, where he is providing commentary on a boxing match.
Former President Donald Trump released a video honoring the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center — an attack that killed nearly 3,000 people, permanently changed the United States, and launched a 20-year war in Afghanistan.
“For the great people of our country, this is a very sad day. September 11 represents great sorrow for our country,” the 45th president said. “Many things were displayed that day, including, most importantly, the bravery of our police, fire, and first responders of every kind. The job they did was truly unbelievable. We love them and we thank them.”
It is also a sad time for the way our war on those that did such harm to our country ended last week. The loss of 13 great warriors and the many more who were wounded should never have happened,” he said.
Trump shamed Biden for how he handled the end of the war and called his administration “inept.” The former president initially led negotiations with the Taliban during his presidency and agreed to leave Afghanistan and end the 20-year war on May 1 — as long as the Taliban refrained from interacting with terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, among other agreements.
“The leader of our country was made to look like a fool, and that can never be allowed to happen. It was caused by bad planning, incredible weakness, and leaders who truly didn’t understand what was happening,” Trump continued. “This is the 20th year of this war and should have been a year of victory, and honor, and strength. Instead, Joe Biden and his inept administration surrendered in defeat.”
Trump said that while the United States “will struggle to recover from the embarrassment this incompetence has caused” our nation, “will live on.”
“Do not fear, however, America will be made great again,” he concluded.