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Biden takes fire from Republicans after Kabul attack deepens morass

Trump, lawmakers call for US president to be impeached or resign, blaming him for ‘incompetent leadership’ and chaotic withdrawal

US President Joe Biden bows his head in a moment of silence as he speaks about the situation in Kabul, Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House on August 26, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
US President Joe Biden bows his head in a moment of silence as he speaks about the situation in Kabul, Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House on August 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

WASHINGTON — Former US president Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers lashed out at Democratic President Joe Biden on Thursday after 13 US troops were killed and 18 wounded in suicide bombings in Kabul.

Trump, who has been sharply critical of Biden’s handling of the Afghan crisis, called Thursday’s suicide attacks in Kabul a “tragedy” and said they should have been prevented.

“This tragedy should never have been allowed to happen, which makes our grief even deeper and more difficult to understand,” said Trump, whose administration — in a February 2020 deal with the Taliban — committed the United States to a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Several Republican lawmakers said Biden should resign or be impeached.

“Joe Biden is responsible,” said Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri. “It is now clear beyond all doubt that he has neither the capacity nor the will to lead. He must resign.”

Representative Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking Republican in the House, tweeted that “Joe Biden has blood on his hands.”

Former US president Donald Trump addresses supporters during a “Save America” rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

“The buck stops with the President of the United States,” Stefanik said.

“This horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is solely the result of Joe Biden’s weak and incompetent leadership. He is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.”

The US flag flies at half mast over the White House after US President Joe Biden delivered remarks on the terror attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport, and the US service members and Afghan victims killed and wounded, in Washington, DC, on August 26, 2021. (Eric BARADAT / AFP)

The Republican minority leader of the House of Representatives urged Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker, to call the chamber back from recess to address the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

“It is time for Congress to act quickly to save lives,” Representative Kevin McCarthy said. “Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of the withdrawal.”

McCarthy said Pelosi “must bring Congress back into session before August 31 so that we can be briefed thoroughly and comprehensively by the Biden administration.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks with reporters on May 19, 2021, in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

McCarthy also called on Biden to “take decisive action to protect our troops, our citizens, and our allies without regard for an arbitrary deadline.”

Biden said Thursday he was sticking with his plan to complete the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by August 31.

He also took fire from some conservatives for the optics of his emotion-laden remarks.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called the Kabul attack “enraging” and said “we need to redouble our global efforts to confront these barbarian enemies who want to kill our Americans and attack our homeland.”

Medics and hospital staff bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatment after two blasts outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, dismissed McCarthy’s call as an “empty stunt” and said the Biden administration has repeatedly briefed members of Congress.

In a statement, Pelosi ignored McCarthy’s call for the House to be called back from recess but said Congress “must continue to be kept closely informed” about developments in Afghanistan.

The House adjourned for its fall recess on August 24 and is scheduled to return on September 20.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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