Tucker Carlson Credits Biden for Stopping 'Permanent War' in Afghanistan

Although Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been a staunch critic of President Joe Biden—and continues to be—the controversial television personality gave the commander-in-chief credit for ending a "permanent war" in Afghanistan.

Biden has faced widespread criticism for the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces, allies and Afghan refugees from Afghanistan that came as the Taliban retook control of the country two weeks before the president's August 31 deadline to officially end the war. While Carlson criticized the way Biden handled the withdrawal, he defended the decision to pull the troops from the country.

The Fox News host discussed the situation in Afghanistan during his Friday evening program. He commented on leaked excerpts from a July 23 call between Biden and Afghanistan's then-President Ashraf Ghani, which Reuters first reported on Tuesday. In that conversation, Biden told Ghani there was "a need to project a different picture" than the perception that the situation was deteriorating rapidly for the U.S.-backed Afghan government.

"We know that conversation took place, because the Pentagon and/or the State Department leaked it to Reuters. Now, why would they do that? Because whatever Biden's faults, he did pull American troops out of Afghanistan, and they hate that," Carlson said Friday.

Tucker Carlson
Fox News host Tucker Carlson credited President Joe Biden during his Friday program for ending "permanent war" in Afghanistan. In this photo, Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on August 7 in Esztergom, Hungary. Janos Kummer/Getty Images

"So they leaked an audiotape of the president speaking to another head of state," he claimed. The Fox News host continued, claiming that the Pentagon and/or the State Department leaked the call "to get back at him [Biden] because he broke the rules."

"He stopped permanent war. He did it ineptly, but he did it," Carlson said, voicing support for the decision.

The Fox News host criticized U.S. military leaders, saying they have been misleading the public for decades. "Lying to the rest of us about what is actually happening with our troops with our money in our name in a foreign country has been the philosophy of this nation's military establishment for the last 20 years," Carlson said, asserting that this was the same for top Biden administration officials.

It's not publicly known who leaked the excerpts of the call or how Reuters obtained them. Reuters only reported that the excerpts it published came from a transcript and a recording that its journalists reviewed.

"As you know, and I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren't going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban," Biden told Ghani during the July 23 call. "And there's a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture."

Critics argued that the excerpts demonstrated that Biden was more aware of the weakness of the Afghan government than he admitted in public. They have said that the president was attempting to push a false narrative about the situation. White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the president but refused to discuss the details of the conversation during a Wednesday press conference.

"What the president conveyed publicly and certainly privately as well repeatedly to Afghan leaders is that it's important that the leaders in Afghanistan do exactly that—lead, show the country they are ready to continue the fight," Psaki said.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

The Afghanistan War was the longest in U.S. history, lasting nearly 20 years. It began in October 2001 and officially ended last month, with the full withdrawal of U.S. troops. The war cost the U.S. at least $2.3 trillion, according to Brown University's Cost of War Project.

The administration of former President Donald Trump signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020. That agreement would have withdrawn all U.S. troops by May 2021. Biden extended the deadline to September 11 after he took office, then pushed it forward to August 31. But the Taliban regained near total control of Afghanistan on August 15.