KILMEADE: But Senator, just one question for you. Just real quick, one last question for you: Why do you think the president would keep troops there past when they should be?
LEVIN: I don’t know. Because General Casey has said that he expects these significant reductions this year. Why the White House would then attack Democrats for proposing the same thing has no explanation that I can think of — no other explanation.
KILMEADE: General Casey said he’s going to do it by conditions on the ground, and has not said he is going to withdraw troops.
LEVIN: Let me read it to you. Let me just read you what Casey said…
KILMEADE: He said one of the plans that he brought together would be reducing troops by 7,000 in September. That’s one of the plans.
LEVIN: Let me read to you what Casey said. “I’m confident that we will be able to take reductions over the course of this year.” This is what he said publicly at the Pentagon. I don’t know whether you reported this or not.
KILMEADE: We covered it live.
LEVIN: Good. Live — and I hope you cover it with this program. “Is that still true, General, fairly substantial?” General Casey: “I think so.” Now are the Republicans going to call General Casey “Cut-and-Run George” because he says that he believes there will be substantial reductions this year? They attacked Democrats — from the White House. It was a rubber stamp Republican Senate. They attack Democrats…
KILMEADE: We’re up against a hard break, but that was a 45-minute press conference with the secretary of defense. And he went back and forth over many scenarios, and that was one of them. And, of course, the best-case scenario — which you accuse the president of taking too far, too often — was that he be able to reduce troops. And I’m sure he wants them out as much as you do. Senator Levin, thanks so much for joining us.
LEVIN: Well, thank you for your opinion. But I was hoping this would be an interview of me rather than an interview of you.
KILMEADE: Well, you know what, I did interview you. I listened to you talk. I watched you read. Senator Levin, thank you very much.
LEVIN: Thank you so much.