Lindsey Graham Calls Joe Biden 'Most Incompetent President of My Lifetime'

Senator Lindsey Graham said President Joe Biden has "blood on his hands" for the way he handled the withdrawal of the U.S. military from Afghanistan.

In an interview with Fox News ahead of Veterans Day, the South Carolina Republican disparaged Biden's foreign policy credentials and said that his friendship with the president had been permanently damaged over the Afghan exit.

Biden was criticized for his decision to withdraw the U.S. military after the collapse of the American-backed government in Kabul as the Taliban took back control of the country.

Chaotic scenes around Kabul's airport in August and the death of 13 U.S. service members in a terrorist attack added to scrutiny of Biden, who has vigorously defended his decision to end America's longest war.

But Graham let his feelings be known in a Fox segment that started with news that the new U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, is visiting Pakistan this week to meet the Taliban foreign minister and diplomats from Russia and China.

Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it was inevitable that the U.S. withdrawal would lead to the rise of other terrorist threats.

"Afghanistan is hell on earth to those who are living there," he said Wednesday. "The Biden administration withdrew all our forces in a dishonorable way."

"Joe Biden has been the most incompetent president in my lifetime on foreign policy, worse than Jimmy Carter. He doesn't understand the nature of the war on terrorism, he believes we can withdraw from these regions and we can be safe."

Graham said he had always advocated for some U.S. military presence "in the backyard of our enemy so they don't come to our backyard," and added that ex-President Donald Trump's reduction of troops to 2,500 "was enough to hold the place together."

Concern About the Taliban

Graham accused the Taliban of intransigence in "helping and policing Al-Qaeda" and that "if we give them one dime of aid, it would be the ultimate betrayal of all the people who have been harmed by the Taliban and threatened by Al-Qaeda."

"The most incompetent decision since 9/11 is paving the way for another 9/11 against our homeland and our allies," he said.

"I've known Joe Biden for a long time," Graham told America's Newsroom. "I had a good personal relationship with him. He's a decent man, but what he did in Afghanistan, I will never forgive him for."

"He has blood on his hands and he's made America less safe," he said, calling him "the most consistently wrong man on foreign policy in my lifetime."

The tone Graham struck was markedly different to his pronouncements on Biden in the past, with the pair previously enjoying a friendly relationship over the years.

In 2016, Graham said in an interview: "If you can't admire Joe Biden as a person...you've got a problem," describing him as "the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics."

Biden has always defended the Afghan exit, saying at the end of August: "I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit."

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham (R) has criticized President Joe Biden in a TV interview. He told Fox News he was "the most incompetent president in my lifetime on foreign policy." Getty