In what’s proving to be a war over words, literally, White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News White House reporter Peter Doocy went at it again on Tuesday on whether American citizens are “stranded” in Kabul.
On Monday, President Biden’s spokeswoman scoffed at Doocy when he suggested that Americans were being stranded in Afghanistan, insisting that the use of the term was “irresponsible.”
At Tuesday’s press briefing, the Fox News correspondent fired another salvo.
“I know that you said yesterday it’s irresponsible to say that Americans are stranded in Afghanistan right now,” Doocy told Psaki. “What do you say to the American citizens in Kabul that [Fox News] spoke to this morning? Her name is – she’s going by Fatima. She says, ‘We are stranded at home. For four days, three days, we didn’t hear anything from anywhere.’”
Psaki repeated a now familiar, if not ominous, talking point, that the administration is “committed to bringing Americans home who want to leave.”
(The phrase is repeated so often it would appear that the White House is setting the narrative to justify Americans being left behind by stating that it was their choice.)
(Video: Fox News)
She also went into a long dissertation on determining the exact number of Americans still in the Central Asian country.
“As we’ve said, this is a dynamic number. We’re working hour by hour to refine and make it precise,” Psaki said. “[I] understand your desire and interest in having exact number of American citizens on the ground, and the State Department, I expect, will have an exact update on that tomorrow.”
“Just to remind you, the U.S. government does not track our citizens when they travel around the world,” she continued. “We rely on self-reporting not just in Afghanistan, anywhere in the world. People have to decide to register or not; it’s up to them, individuals, whether they decide to register or not, wherever they may be.”
Psaki stressed that “for months,” the State Department has been “telling Americans to leave Afghanistan for their own safety.”
“It is our responsibility and our role to work with and help American citizens who want to leave,” she said, adding that they’ve “reached out to every American citizen registered in Afghanistan directly, multiple times.”
Turning her focus to the woman Doocy mentioned, Psaki told him to give them her contact information.
“If we are not in touch with this individual, give me their contact information and we will get in touch with them. If any of you are hearing from American citizens who can’t reach us, give me their contact information, and we will get in contact with them,” she said.
Doocy then asked for a “better word” if “stranded” was inapplicable.
“But you say no Americans are stranded. This is someone in Kabul who says, ‘I am stranded.’ So is there a better word for somebody who can’t leave the house to get to the airport because Jake Sullivan says ISIS is outside the airport? What — if it’s not ‘stranded’…”
“I would welcome you providing their phone number, and we will reach out to them today, and I can assure you of that,” Psaki curtly interjected.
While the White House is throwing around sweeping numbers of those rescued in Afghanistan, topping 70,000 to hear them tell it, it’s obvious they do not know how many Americans remain, less than a week before Biden’s arbitrary deadline expires — the drawdown of U.S. military forces is now underway.
Here’s a sampling of responses to the story from Twitter — *Adult Language:
What the FUCK? https://t.co/8iedMgHDFZ
— jimtreacher.substack.com (@jtLOL) August 24, 2021
Don’t call us, we’ll call you
— AstraBeneca 🇦🇫 (@hayesy316) August 24, 2021
So. They really, really, really don’t know how many are there.
— dfinney (@dfinney16) August 24, 2021
And why does she need anyone’s contact information — I thought they were in contact with all Americans.
— Falo Yensid (@GoshJad) August 24, 2021
This 9/11 is going to be horrible
— That Dubious Cat™ (@ThatDubiousCat) August 24, 2021
Will there be a charge for that phone call? $2,000?
— (((TheRemoteZombieOperatestheJewishSpaceLaser))) (@Shwarmaonthesp1) August 24, 2021
The # to reach abandoned Americans is 1-800-SexSlave or 1-888-Tortured
— Older, Wiser and Oh So Happy (@NotTheHOFer) August 24, 2021
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