Erik Prince, the co-founder of defense contractor Blackwater, is responding after the White House took a shot at him for offering to fly people out of Afghanistan on charter flights for $6,500 a seat — recalling that his contractors once rescued Biden from Taliban territory.
Prince, a former Navy SEAL, added that the Biden administration’s bungling of the evacuation operation and the president’s refusal to extend the deadline have “shattered the confidence” of America’s allies.
“So we have shattered the confidence of our European allies and every other ally around the world that America depends, whether you’re a CIA agent trying to recruit somebody to work for you or whether you’re a country that America wants you to compete with – to side with us versus something that the Chinese want – it will definitely figure into people’s thinking how quickly America abandoned its friends in Afghanistan and left in such a horribly chaotic and clumsy manner,” Prince told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in an interview Wednesday night.
He also pointed out that Blackwater soldiers had to rescue Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel when they got lost in a snowstorm in 2008.
“They were on a Congressional visit to Afghanistan in the winter and their U.S. Army helicopter got lost in a blinding snowstorm and set down in Taliban territory on the side of a mountain,” he told Carlson.
“And the U.S. military launched a ground convoy to get them and they got lost and the Blackwater guys launched and they did not get lost. And we recovered them. We rescued them from Taliban territory. That was the winter of ’08,” he said.
Prince, the brother of Betsy DeVos, was asked if they were “grateful.”
”You would think so, but no. I didn’t get a Christmas card – I have yet to. In their office they thanked the U.S. military,” he said. ”It was veteran contractors, doing their job, once again.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki ripped Prince during a briefing on Wednesday.
“I don’t think any human being who has a heart and soul would support efforts to profit off of people’s agony and pain as they’re trying to depart a country and fearing for their lives,” she said.
Blackwater, formed in 1997, gained notability when the US hired the outfit to provide security for officials in Iraq and its soldiers shot dead 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Former President Donald Trump pardoned four Blackwater contractors last year after they were convicted in the attack.