White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield continued to deflect criticism of the President’s disastrous exit strategy from Afghanistan Friday; saying Joe Biden “prepared for this possibility” as chaos engulfs Kabul.
“I know there’s been a lot of criticism of the effort and of how things have played out over the last couple of days. But the truth is, the president prepared for this possibility,” said Bedingfield.
WH Communications Director Kate Bedingfield: "I know there's been a lot of criticism of the effort and of how things have played out over the last couple of days. But the truth is, the president prepared for this possibility." pic.twitter.com/ygZXOSYygw
— The Hill (@thehill) August 20, 2021
President Biden will -once again- leave the capital Friday for his home in Delaware as both the State Department and Pentagon struggle to evacuate thousands of Americans from Afghanistan.
“President Biden Friday will again leave the White House for Wilmington, Delaware, as the military and State Department work to clean up the mess from the botched withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan,” reports Fox News.
“Amid intense pressure to return to the White House Monday, Biden flew into town and delivered brief remarks only to immediately fly back to Camp David. That same day, video splashed across the internet of Afghans clinging to a departing American airplane at the Kabul airport, before falling from the sky to their deaths,” adds Fox. “Biden’s latest trip to his personal residence comes after the Pentagon admitted Thursday it does not know how many Americans are left in Afghanistan. Fox News sources said this week that the Taliban has set up checkpoints outside of the Kabul airport and is beating people and arbitrarily denying entry.”
Watch the report above.
CNN REPORTER: ‘They’re Chanting Death to America, But They Seem Friendly at the Same Time’
A reporter on CNN described the chaos unfolding in Afghanistan’s capital city Monday; telling viewers the Taliban fighters are chanting “Death to America” but they “seem friendly at the same time.”
“The Taliban fighters have flooded the capital. Smiling and victorious, they took the city of six million people in a matter of hours, barely firing a shot,” says the narrator.
“They tell us they’re here to maintain law and order,” she adds. “They’re just chanting ‘Death to America’ but they seem friendly at the same time.”
CNN REPORTER ON TALIBAN: "They're just chanting 'death to America,' but they seem friendly at the same time."
The same reporter then says the Taliban have a "welcoming spirit" as they wave rifles in the air.
Yes, this is a real clip. pic.twitter.com/VdXWplr8V2
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 16, 2021
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan weighed-in on the chaos engulfing Afghanistan Monday; admitting the Biden administration was caught off-guard by the “speed” of the Taliban advance.
“The president did not think it was inevitable that the Taliban were going to take control of Afghanistan,” Sullivan told ABC News. “He thought the Afghan national security forces could step up and fight because we spent 20 years, tens of billions of dollars, training them, giving them the best equipment, giving them support of U.S. forces for 20 years.”
“When push came to shove, they decided not to step up and fight for their country,” Sullivan added.
Scenes of panic and chaos played out at the airport in Kabul as crowds of people desperate to escape Afghanistan rushed onto the tarmac.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 16, 2021
“We planned for a wide range of contingencies, one of those was the need to flow in a substantial number of forces to secure the airport and be able to facilitate that evacuation,” Sullivan explained. “We have now successfully drawn down the U.S. embassy in Kabul. We have moved all of those personnel either to the airport or out of the country. And we flowed in several thousand troops who had been prepositioned in theater for precisely this purpose.”
BREAKING: Seven people are dead amid the chaos at the Kabul airport, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet, senior U.S. military officials say. https://t.co/2JPKZXpx4n
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 16, 2021
“We are working to do that, first, by securing the airport today and then in the days ahead, by taking people out one flight a time, flight after flight,” Sullivan said. “We fully intend to continue an evacuation process to bring out people who worked alongside of us in Afghanistan.”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 16, 2021
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
DISASTER: Biden Admin Tells Americans to Go to Kabul Airport But ‘Cannot Guarantee' Safety
The State Department is instructing some Americans in Afghanistan to relocate to Kabul’s major airport but warned the US Government cannot “guarantee” their safety.
“The below note went out this afternoon to American citizens requesting to be evacuated from Afghanistan, @alanacbs reports. It instructs people to come to Hamid Karzai Intl Airport in Kabul, but says the US govt cannot guarantee their safety as they make the trip,” posted a producer from CBS News.
“Thank you for registering your request to be evacuated from Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has confirmed that an undefined number of U.S. government-provided flights will begin soon. Please make your way to Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time,” read the statement.
“PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SECURITY AS YOU MAKE THIS TRIP,” the message added.
Biden Admin Tells Americans In Afghanistan To Go To Airport, But ‘Cannot Guarantee’ Safety https://t.co/nLPByw3baZ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 18, 2021
The below note went out this afternoon to American citizens requesting to be evacuated from Afghanistan, @alanacbs reports. It instructs people to come to Hamid Karzai Intl Airport in Kabul, but says the US govt cannot guarantee their safety as they make the trip. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/rgEyjGup4K
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) August 17, 2021
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defended Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan Tuesday; saying “this is what happens” when asked about US military equipment falling into the hands of the Taliban.
“This is what happens when you withdraw,” Pelosi said in an interview with KPIX 5 News Tuesday. “Some stuff is left there. It was thought that would be used. It was hoped that would be used by the Afghan military to defend its own country.”
“The fact that it did not and could not,” Pelosi added, “was all more the reason for us to leave.”
PELOSI on gear lost to Taliban in AFG: “This is what happens when you withdraw” pic.twitter.com/aXpSr6EHrS
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) August 18, 2021
Watch Pelosi’s comments above.