Lindsey Graham Says Joe Biden Is 'Paving the Way for Another September 11'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) believes that President Joe Biden is "paving the way for another 9/11" by preparing to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Graham said that Biden's plans would spark the reemergence of terrorist groups Al Qaeda and ISIS during a Tuesday night appearance on Fox News' Hannity. The senator's remarks came hours after a senior Biden administration official confirmed that the president would be announcing on Wednesday the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan.

The withdrawal is set to begin on May 1 and conclude by September 11, the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. that led to the invasion of Afghanistan.

"To all of you who are listening, you remember where you were at on September 11, 2001," Graham said. "Our military told President Biden that if you withdraw all of our forces, Al Qaeda and ISIS will come roaring back, Afghanistan will disintegrate into civil war. And we can avoid all of that by having 3,000-5,000 American forces making sure that ISIS and Al Qaeda never come back to hurt us. He rejected that advice."

Lindsey Graham Joe Biden 9/11 Afghanistan Hannity
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks during a press conference in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2021. Win McNamee/Getty

"Afghanistan is going to deteriorate pretty rapidly, Al Qaeda and ISIS are going to come back," added Graham. "He's paving the way for another 9/11. I think Joe Biden on foreign policy has been completely incompetent and destabilizing."

In a statement issued shortly before his Hannity appearance, Graham called reports of the complete Afghanistan troop withdrawal "dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous," arguing that Biden had "canceled an insurance policy against another 9/11."

The Biden administration is expected to begin withdrawing troops on the same day that former President Donald Trump had set as the deadline for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. About 2,500 U.S. troops remain in the country following reductions in forces initiated by Trump.

While Graham was known as an ardent supporter of Trump on most issues throughout his presidency, he was one of many Republicans that did not support the former president's plans to withdraw all U.S. troops.

"President Trump kept a residual force, but he did set a hard withdrawal date, which I thought was very bad, ill-conceived policy," Graham said.

In addition to Graham and a selection of other lawmakers, some experts and military officials urged Biden to not immediately withdraw the troops to allow time for a peace deal to take place between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

News of the withdrawal emerged on the same day that a threat assessment report was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, finding that "prospects for a peace deal" between the U.S. and Afghanistan would "remain low during the next year." The report also warned that "the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support."

Newsweek reached out to The White House for comment.