President Joe Biden fueled additional fears and concerns over his mental capabilities on Thursday over a confusing — and false — series of answers regarding the current chaotic situation that is still unfolding in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Biden said he couldn’t “recall” if he was warned by the Pentagon and national security staff to keep troops in Afghanistan while also claiming that “no one is being killed” in Kabul or throughout the country, despite reports stating otherwise.
Biden also told the host that he still would have withdrawn U.S. forces from Afghanistan without former President Donald Trump having agreed to a peace deal and withdrawal by May 1, reversing finger-pointing accusations at his predecessor earlier this week for the debacle that unfolded.
“Your top military advisers warned against withdrawing on this timeline – they wanted you to keep about 2,500 troops,” Stephanopoulos told Biden during the interview.
I CANNOT believe that THIS is our “Commander-in-Chief.” Whet a sad embarrassment…
Stephanopoulos: "We've seen Afghans falling [from a plane]…"
Pres. Biden: "That was four days ago, five days ago!"pic.twitter.com/IeHESb9ZgU
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 19, 2021
“No, they didn’t,” Biden responded unequivocally. “It was split. That wasn’t true. That wasn’t true.”
“They didn’t tell you they wanted troops to stay?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“No, not in terms of whether we were going to get out in a time frame – all troops, they didn’t argue against that,” the president repeated.
But the host continued to press Biden on the report: ‘Your military advisers did not tell you, ‘No, we should just keep 2,500 troops, it’s been a stable situation for the last several years, we can do that, we can continue to do that?’
“No, no one said that to me that I can recall,” Biden said (around the 3:05 mark in the video below).
In fact, according to published accounts, top Pentagon and intelligence officials repeatedly warned the president about pulling out and removing all troops from the war-torn country, noting that doing so would lead to a complete Taliban takeover, which is what has happened.
On Tuesday, for instance, The Wall Street Journal reported that Biden was aware of the risks of pulling all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan but ordered the withdrawal nonetheless over the objections from national security officials.
He also told Stephanopoulos that the violence and chaos seen in Kabul was going to happen no matter what, which is different than what he has been saying for months since announcing the pullout in April.
Biden then clapped back following a question about Afghan men falling from a U.S. military aircraft and photos of a C-17 overstuffed with more than 600 Afghan citizens as the plane desperately left Kabul ahead of the Taliban.
“We have control of the airport now,” Biden insisted during the interview.
But the host pushed back some, replying, “Still a lot of pandemonium outside the airport.”
“Oh, there is,” Biden responded. “But no one’s being killed right now. God forgive me if I’m wrong about that, but no one’s being killed right now.”
Reports say there have been at least a dozen confirmed deaths just in and around the international airport in the capital city.
A 14-year-old girl was trampled to death in a mad dash at the airport, while others were killed after being run over by departing military aircraft taxing to runways. And two men fell to their deaths after clinging to a U.S. Air Force plane that left earlier this week. Two additional Afghans were killed by U.S. military personnel.
“We’ve all seen the pictures. We’ve seen those hundreds of people packed into a C-17. You’ve seen Afghans falling –” Stephanopoulos began to say before Biden cut hum off.
“That was four days ago, five days ago,” Biden responded.
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