In an interview Wednesday with ABC News about the catastrophe in Afghanistan, President Biden dismissed as old news the horrific images of people falling from airplanes in flight as something that happened “four or five days” ago – it was actually only two.
Becket Adams, in a Washington Examiner commentary, said the president “casually dismissed questions” about the human tragedies that have developed.
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos brought up the “hundreds of people packed into a C-17, we’ve seen Afghans falling. …”
“That was four days ago! Five days ago!” Biden incorrectly claimed.
Adams wondered: “First, so what if it was? What does this have to do with the fact Afghans are literally dying to escape Taliban rule? What does this have to do with the fact thousands of frantic U.S. nationals and Afghan allies are scrambling to evacuate as the Taliban consolidates control? They’re scrambling, by the way, because the Biden administration had the bright idea to shutter Bagram Airfield, evacuate U.S. military before civilians and allies, and designate an international airport surrounded by the Taliban as the sole evacuation point for the entire country.”
Biden insisted he had no other choice.
“I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that – we’re going to go back in hindsight and look – but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,” Biden said.
Adams pointed out that Biden had said only weeks ago that any withdrawal would be “responsible, deliberate, and safe.” The president said the “likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Nikki Haley, ambassador to the U.N. under Trump, said: “This is such a slap in the face to the thousands of Americans still in Afghanistan. He had no plan, he has no urgency, and he won’t take responsibility.”
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) August 18, 2021
See an excerpt of the ABC interview:
Biden insisted “there was no consensus” about a Taliban takeover.
“If you go back and look at the intelligence reports, they said that it’s more likely to be sometime by the end of the year. The idea that the Tal — and then it goes further on, even as late as August. I think you’re gonna see — the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others speaking about this later today,” he said.
When Stephanopoulos noted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said such a disaster was predicted, Biden’s response was, “What – what did he say was predicted?”
So what failed, Mr. President? Stephanopoulos asked.
“Look, I don’t think it was a fa — look, it was a simple choice, George. When the — when the Taliban — let me back — put it another way. When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government get in a plane and taking off and going to another country, when you saw the significant collapse of the ta– of the– Afghan troops we had trained — up to 300,000 of them just leaving their equipment and taking off, that was — you know, I’m not– this — that — that’s what happened.”
Biden refused to admit that his own top military advisers warned against such a withdrawal.
He claimed there was no “good” time to leave.
“No one can name for me a time when this would end. And what– wha– wha– what– what constitutes defeat of the Taliban? What constitutes defeat? Would we have left then? Let’s say they surrender like before. OK. Do we leave then? Do you think anybody– the same people who think we should stay would’ve said, “No, good time to go”? We spent over $1 trillion, George, 20 years. There was no good time to leave.”
Biden also claimed, “No one’s being killed right now.”
Biden claimed those who want out of Afghanistan will be taken out, even though the Taliban now can surround the only airport available for such flights.
When Stephanopoulos asked about the new threat to the United States, with Afghanistan once again a terrorist base, Biden said the threats to the U.S. from Syria, East Africa and “other places” are “significantly greater.”
Biden said America should have “gotten out” long ago.
Stephanopoulos asked if the nation should “accept the idea that it was gonna be messy no matter what.”
Biden asked, “What would be messy?”
The president’s response when asked how history will view the U.S. experience in Afghanistan: “One that we overextended what we needed to do to deal with our national interest. That’s like my sayin’ they– they’re– they– they b– b– the border of Tajikistan– and– other– what– does it matter? Are we gonna go to war because of what’s goin’ on in Tajikistan? What do you think?”
This is a presidency-defining clip. And it’s really bad. https://t.co/VVLhaBD1Z9
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) August 18, 2021
Fox News said Biden was panned for his comments.
British media personality Piers Morgan said: “Biden’s failure to even admit to his catastrophic mistake, when the whole world has watched the disaster unfurl on live TV, is both breathtakingly arrogant & disturbingly delusional. He either doesn’t care or is in denial.”
Biden’s failure to even admit to his catastrophic mistake, when the whole world has watched the disaster unfurl on live TV, is both breathtakingly arrogant & disturbingly delusional.
He either doesn’t care or is in denial. https://t.co/zCLS6PLcSq
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 18, 2021
No way to avoid this chaos? That’s a bald-faced lie.
Joe Biden is as dishonest as he is impotent. https://t.co/cCkOs0n8Kb
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) August 18, 2021
President @JoeBiden now says he doesn’t know how the U.S. could have withdrawn from Afghanistan “without chaos ensuing.” But on July 8th, he said “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) August 18, 2021
Tone-deaf, callous, pathetic. https://t.co/KkYWKzq6Co
— Shashank Joshi (@shashj) August 18, 2021
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