GOP lawmaker: Biden eyed 'optics' over Americans' safety

GOP lawmaker: Biden eyed 'optics' over Americans' safety

GOP lawmaker: Biden eyed 'optics' over Americans' safety

A Republican congressman who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan says it's clear to him that President Joe Biden is more interested in optics than in protecting U.S. citizens in Afghanistan.

Early Tuesday, the last U.S. plane took off from Bagram Air Base, ending America's 20-year involvement in that country. Congressman Brian Mast – now in his third term in the House of Representatives – is a former Army bomb disposal technician who, in 2010, suffered catastrophic injuries when he stepped on an IED, which required amputation of both his legs.

After an honorable discharge from the Army, Mast was elected to Congress in November 2016 representing Florida's 18th Congressional District. During a recent appearance on Fox News, he said Biden's pullout was all about optics as the 20th anniversary of 9-11 approaches

"We know that he wanted the optics of getting out by 9-11. That was the first date that he chose …. Probably Susan Rice [or somebody else] that told him to do that," Mast told host Mark Levin.

The GOP lawmaker chided Biden's military advisors for not opposing the withdrawal plan, which Mast argues didn't meet any strategic objective of eliminating terrorists or making America safer.

Mast, Rep. Brian (R-Florida) Mast

"The generals needed to say 'Absolutely not!" he continued. "[They needed to say] 'I will not put our men and women at risk just because you want to have a 9-11 celebration and have your name across the newspapers and the right headlines.'"

Mast also shared that he sees clear similarities between the U.S. withdrawals from Vietnam in 1973 and from Afghanistan over the last month.

"Vietnam was not lost because of those who trudged selflessly through the jungles and rice paddies in Vietnam. It was lost because of Pennsylvania Avenue," he accused.

"And Afghanistan was not lost because of those I stood shoulder to shoulder with – [those] who went over those mountains, who fell off of cliffs, who took incoming mortar and sniper rounds. It wasn't lost because of them – it was lost because of Pennsylvania Avenue."

Prior to U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, the Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular foreign war in U.S. history – that's according to History.com.