President Joe Biden tried to dodge responsibility for the Afghanistan crisis in another short, sleepy White House speech on Friday that was delayed by more than 40 minutes.
After days of hiding out at Camp David and in Delaware, Biden finally said that “we made clear to the Taliban that any attack on our forces, or disruption or operations the airport will be met with swift and forceful response” but refused to acknowledge that his administration ignored the warning signs of the Taliban’s rise and chose to move forward with a botched withdrawal.
In addition to repeating rhetoric about why he chose to remove U.S. troops, Biden promised to get Americans who are stranded in Afghanistan and subject to the Taliban’s rule out. The president also said he hopes to get Afghans who assisted U.S. troops out.
“There’s nothing more important than bringing American citizens out I acknowledge that. But they’re equally important almost as all those who those SIVs, we call them, who in fact helped us. They were translators, they went to battle with us, they were part of the operation as well as we’re also trying to get out as many NGOs, nongovernment organizations, women’s organizations, etc. We’re doing all we can,” Biden said.
President Biden with VP Harris, Sec Blinken, Sec. Austin, and Jake Sullivan. pic.twitter.com/4s4FONLlro
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) August 20, 2021
And while Biden reassured that “we are united with our closest partners to execute the mission at hand,” but did not mention that he ignored requests from NATO ally and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson to speak about the Aghanistan crisis for more than 24 hours earlier this week as chaos unfurled.
After avoiding the press for nearly a week, Biden finally took a few questions from a list of reporters in the White House Press Pool before swiftly exiting and preparing for his trip back to Delaware to get better sleep.
At 1:00 pm Biden will deliver remarks about Afghanistan
At 2:00 pm he leaves the White House to resume his vacation in Delaware
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) August 20, 2021
Instead of directly addressing why evacuations for Americans and other allies before the withdrawal began, Biden once again blamed the Afghan national force for “abandoning” Kabul. He ignored questions such as “why do you continue to trust the Taliban, Mr. President?”