FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Say To ‘Not Be Distracted’ By The Afghanistan Crisis And To ‘Keep One Eye On Washington’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims former President Donald Trump said not to be “distracted by all this going on in Afghanistan” and to “keep one eye on Washington D.C.”

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The statement has been misattributed to Trump.

Fact Check:

The Taliban has rapidly taken over Afghanistan, having seized control of Kabul, provincial capitals and other cities, NPR reported. President Joe Biden has faced criticism as the U.S. races to finish evacuating American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan by his Aug. 31 deadline, according to the Associated Press.

The meme in the Facebook post includes what resembles a Fox News graphic for a phone interview with Trump. Below that, Trump is quoted as allegedly saying, “Do not be distracted by all this going on in Afghanistan. Always keep one eye on Washington D.C. A magician always distracts his audience. And we all know that the Democrats are very good magicians.” (RELATED: Is The Only McDonald’s In Afghanistan Being Staffed By US Marines?)

But, contrary to the post’s claim, the former president didn’t make this comment on Fox News or anywhere else. A search for the quote on the Fox News website and in Grabien’s collection of the network’s broadcasts didn’t yield any instances of Trump saying it. Check Your Fact didn’t find the remark in Factb.ase or Rev’s respective databases of his public statements.

It hasn’t been possible for Trump to post any statement on his Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account during Biden’s presidency. Twitter permanently suspended his account, @realDonaldTrump, in early January for tweets the company said violated its “Glorification of Violence Policy” after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. He has also been suspended from Facebook and Instagram since January for similar reasons.

Trump said on Aug. 21 that Biden’s handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was America’s “greatest foreign policy humiliation,” Reuters reported. While president, Trump and the Taliban had reached an agreement in 2020 that U.S. forces would totally withdraw from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, according to Politico.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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