Having already called for Gen. Mark Milley's resignation as chairman of President Joe Biden's joint chiefs of staff, Sen. Rand Paul said Milley's testimony before Congress this week has only hardened his stance.
The Kenucky Republican is, "if anything, more outraged" about Milley's "awful incompetence" in the execution of the Afghanistan withdrawal, he told Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
"They seem to have a calm demeanor that it was such a great success, and they were so proud of all the people they evacuated, and I guess I see it differently," Paul, one of Congress' most vocal supporters of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, said.
"I see it as one of the worst military mistakes we made in a long, long time – to leave a secure airbase, to be stuck in a municipal airport, without the ability to defend the perimeter or defend our soldiers."
Paul noted the 13 U.S. service members who were killed in the late-August ISIS-K suicide bombing outside the Taliban-controlled gate of the Kabul airport "were used to protecting a military installation, not a municipal airport."
"They were put in a bad situation by their leadership," Paul continued. "I think the best thing they could do, for Milley, is they should resign. I think they made a lot of terrible decisions."
Paul added their negligence did not end at the deaths of American service members either, saying they felt they "must act, must show strength" and acted "in haste" with a drone strike that reportedly killed Afghan civilians, including children, and not ISIS-K operatives.
"Mistakes were made because they were trying to save face from such an awful incompetence in the withdrawal," Paul said.
On the reports of Gen. Milley promising to warn China of any potential U.S. attack in the waning days of the Trump administration, potentially jeopardizing the lives of American soldiers, Paul warned the details from Bob Woodward's book "Peril" are not only from "a second-hand source, but it's also coming from a lawbreaker and a liar."
"It's someone breaking the law by leaking this information to Woodward," Paul said, declining to finalize an opinion on the veracity of the report.
"I don't know what to believe, necessarily," he concluded, "but I think Milley's lost enough confidence in the incompetence of the evacuation and now this questionable phone call, I think it's time for him to go."
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