Canadian PM Trudeau spoke to Hillary Clinton as Biden hid from Afghanistan crisis, world leaders

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that he had spoken with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier in the week as Afghanistan fell back into Taliban hands amid an ill-planned pull-out of American military and diplomatic personnel.

Meanwhile, White House officials confirmed on Thursday as well that as events were unfolding in the southwest Asian nation where U.S. and NATO forces have been deployed for 20 years, President Joe Biden did not take any calls from nor did he contact key world leaders who grew increasingly concerned as the situation worsened and Taliban fighters erected a perimeter around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

“I also spoke last night with former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who shares our concern for Afghan women and girls,” Trudeau said, according to a video clip posted to social media.

“She welcomed our efforts and urged Canada to continue our work. Governments, international organizations, and civil society must continue to work together to support women and girls in Afghanistan,” he added. “The Afghan people need the world to stand with them. And that is what Canada will continue to do.”

“Yesterday, the White House said that Joe Biden has not taken any calls with world leaders in regards to Afghanistan. Justin Trudeau stated that he spoke with Hillary Clinton yesterday about Afghanistan. What is going on? Why is the US President not taking calls but Hillary is?” GOP strategist Amy Tarkanian noted in a post containing Trudeau’s video.

It’s not clear why the Canadian leader chose to call Clinton if he was unable to contact Biden instead of Vice President Kamala Harris, though she, too, has been criticized for being unavailable over the past week as the situation deteriorated in Afghanistan.

“I guess if there’s one person who really knows about failed foreign policy leaving Americans stranded in hostile territory it’s her,” mocked Republican communicator Matt Whitlock, a likely reference to the Benghazi, Libya, incident Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans — Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA operatives Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs, were killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate there.

During the first days of the crisis, one key U.S. ally — Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson — tried unsuccessfully to contact Biden for 36 hours, according to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

On Tuesday afternoon during a press briefing, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Biden had “not yet spoken with any other world leaders,” even as Afghan civilians inundated the airport in desperate attempts to catch any flights out of the country, including aboard U.S. military transports.

“Myself, Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken, several other senior members of the team have been engaged on a regular basis with foreign counterparts, and we intend to do so in the coming days,” Sullivan added.

Eventually, Johnson did get Biden on the phone, the report said, and urged him not to ignore or toss away the “gains made in Afghanistan” in response to Biden’s earlier comments that the “mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building.”

Harris has been unavailable as well, which has also raised as many questions as red flags after she publicly praised Biden in April for announcing a pullout of American forces, bragging to CNN’s “State of the Union” program she was the “last person in the room” when the president came to his decision.

Jon Dougherty

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