A top military adviser who served under Donald Trump praised President Joe Biden for carrying out the Afghanistan withdrawal his predecessor set in motion -- but now criticizes from the sidelines.
The twice-impeached one-term president handpicked a team in his final months in the White House committed to a complete U.S. military withdrawal, such as retired Col. Douglas MacGregor, who Trump tapped as a senior adviser after seeing him frequently make the case for leaving Afghanistan in Fox News appearances, reported ABC News.
"He made very clear to me that he shared my views," MacGregor said, "and he said, 'I've got to get you in here because I agree with you. We need to get out of these places. There's no reason to be in any of them.'"
MacGregor, on the day he was appointed in April 2020, was handed a sheet of paper the day by director of presidential personnel Johnny McEntee that described his job as senior adviser to the defense secretary.
"Get out us out of Afghanistan," read the first of four bullet points on that memo from the president, MacGregor said.
"Donald Trump wanted out," MacGregor said. "It was no secret plan, no misleading agenda. He wanted out."
MacGregor drafted a one-page presidential order on his first day at the Defense Department calling on the military to withdraw all uniformed personnel by Jan. 12, 2021 -- before Inauguration Day -- which Trump signed on Nov. 11, 2020, but agreed under pressure from his top military leaders to revise to a more gradual withdrawal.
"I did exactly what he wanted me to do and then he buckled," MacGregor said.
MacGregor believes Trump's original timeline would have been less dangerous because it wouldn't have been carried out during Afghanistan's fighting season, but he still believes the current president made the right call to leave.
"I am not critical of President Biden's decision," MacGregor said, "and if you listen to his speech, he said, 'I ended the war.' Bravo! Well done! Get out! This has been an enormous waste of time, money, resources and blood, so the president is 100 percent correct."