MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said Sunday he is “very upset” on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks because the Taliban is back in charge in Afghanistan, faulting President Biden in harsh terms on the sidelines of an event honoring a 9/11 nonprofit.
Mr. Giuliani said the goal of the 20-year war was to keep Afghanistan from becoming a haven for groups like al Qaeda, which plotted the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
“I think we’re back where we started from. And I think that we got paid back very seriously for electing a president who’s mentally impaired,” Mr. Giuliani told The Washington Times in a brief interview at the event in northern New Jersey. “The whole purpose of that war was to have our soldiers there so they couldn’t plan to come and attack us. So now what has Biden done? He’s taking the soldiers out. They’re coming out of the woodwork like crazy.
“This is like a field day for terrorists,” he said.
Mr. Giuliani won praise for uplifting New York after the nightmarish attacks in lower Manhattan in 2001. He was even nicknamed “America’s mayor.”
Yet he became a polarizing figure as former President Donald Trump’s lawyer, notably repeating the ex-president’s unfounded claims the 2020 election was rigged. He became a punchline after a post-election press conference because hair dye streaked down his face in front of the cameras.
Mr. Giuliani did find common ground with Mr. Biden on his decision to declassify certain 9/11 documents that, victims’ families say, could implicate the Saudi government in supporting the attacks.
“He should do that. We should find out how seriously involved Saudi Arabia was, really important we do that,” Mr. Giuliani told a Fox 5 News crew, before pivoting back to his criticisms of Mr. Biden.
“There’s something missing in his analytical ability,” he said.
Mr. Giuliani said Mr. Biden has “always been a dumb man” but “the amazing thing is nobody around him says, ‘You don’t give up an air base 400 miles from China unless you’re in favor of China and not the United States.’”
He also questioned the vetting of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who are being brought to America, saying some of them are married to teenagers or multiple women.
Mr. Biden has defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying the U.S. fulfilled its early objectives in the country and he could not pass the responsibility onto another president. He also says intelligence reports failed to predict how quickly the Afghan forces would fall to the Taliban.
Polls show the American people generally support the decision to pull U.S. forces out but do not approve of Mr. Biden’s chaotic exit, which featured a number of Americans left behind in the country and a terror attack that killed U.S. 13 troops in Kabul.
Mr. Trump hasn’t been shy in criticizing Mr. Biden for the messy exit, though he’s been criticized for initiating withdrawal negotiations with the Taliban during his term.
Mr. Giuliani on Sunday insisted that Mr. Trump would have done a better job in carrying out a withdrawal.
“Trump is a rational human being that has all his mental capacity,” he said. “Even if he had decided to pull out, he would have pulled out in a way that was planned, done logically and sensibly. I have no doubt those 13 soldiers would be alive. Not just Trump, if any reasonable man were president.”
Mr. Giuliani made headlines in April, when federal investigators raided his home and office as part of an investigation into whether he followed lobbying laws when dealing with Ukraine. A court in New York suspended his law license in June, citing “false and misleading statements” about the November election to courts, lawmakers and the public.
Mr. Giuliani blamed his plight on a corrupt political culture.
“The legal stuff? I’m gonna be fine,” he said, dubbing the situation “completely political.”
“It’s an example of how terrible it is when you have a city that’s controlled by one political party for so long. It not only, you know, creates violent crime increases, because the mayor’s a nitwit, but you end up with tremendous corruption,” he told The Washington Times. “And if anyone doesn’t think New York City’s corrupt, they’re living in fairyland.”