President Joe Biden refused responsibility for the chaos in Afghanistan over the weekend and blamed Former President Donald Trump and the Afghan army for the Taliban’s advancement into Kabul.
“I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban,” Biden claimed in his speech at the White House.
Biden, who chose to hide out at Camp David as the weekend events unfolded, continued blaming the Trump administration by claiming that he was left with no other choice but to follow through with their plan, a myth that has been debunked.
“The choice, I had to make, as your president, was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season,” Biden said. “…After May one, there was only the cool reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third decade of conflict.”
While the president acknowledged the reasons why his administration prioritized withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, noticeably missing from his speech was any admittance that the execution of this withdrawal was completely botched and left thousands scrambling for their lives.
“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said. “What’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed. Some time without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week, reinforced that ending new U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”
'American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Aghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.'
President Joe Biden reflects on the crisis in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/kUwfrNuTk9
— LBC (@LBC) August 16, 2021
Biden said he expected criticism but repeated the talking point that withdrawal was necessary.
“I know my decision will be criticized but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president of United States,” Biden concluded before walking out without taking any questions from the press.
BIDEN: "I am now the fourth American President to preside over the war in Afghanistan – I will not pass this responsibility onto a fifth President."
"I am President of the United States of America – the buck stops with me." pic.twitter.com/jETQRbdPqZ
— Newsmax (@newsmax) August 16, 2021
“Mr. President, how do you take no questions on this?” one reporter yelled as he exited and headed back to Camp David.
Holy crap! He took no questions! And he never addressed the ***botching*** of the withdrawal. He only talked about why he (properly) supported Trump’s decision to exit Afghanistan.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) August 16, 2021