Co-hosts of Fox News’ “The Five” blasted the Biden administration during a Friday segment for conflicting and controversial statements indicating that the White House and the Pentagon are poised to cooperate with the Taliban after a chaotic, deadly withdrawal from Kabul last week, stranding American citizens and Afghan allies.
To begin, Dagen McDowell questioned why the White House appeared to be trusting the Taliban regime amid reports that its fighters are “carrying out mass killings” of U.S. allies “that President Biden left behind.”
She added that the White House has said those reports of killings cannot be confirmed while holding the door open for “cooperation with the group” to get Americans and allies out of the country before playing a clip of a testy Jen Psaki denying that the administration has placed any trust in the terrorist group.
“No one is saying from the federal government — no one, from the president, secretary of defense, no one from the intelligence community — that the Taliban are good actors,” Psaki said, banging her hand gently on the podium to ad emphasis.
(Video: Fox News)
“We are not saying that,” the White House press secretary continued, adding: “We are going to judge the Taliban by their actions, and we’ll stay in close coordination with the international community on any steps that we take moving forward.”
In response, McDowell swung it over to co-host and Fox News contributor Joey Jones, a U.S. Marine veteran and bomb disposal expert who lost both legs in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan. Jones reminded viewers that the Taliban’s reputation for being a murderous, authoritarian organization is well established.
The Biden administration has “no choice but to play nice with the Taliban” for the time being because Americans are still trapped inside the country, thanks to poor evacuation planning and execution by the president.
“But to ask for their help” is inexplicable, Jones suggested, going on to note that Biden had “three-and-a-half more years to end” the war in Afghanistan, meaning he had plenty of time to get those out of the country who needed to be evacuated ahead of a complete U.S. withdrawal.
“If you don’t want to hand this war off to the next person, then end it correctly and use your term to do it. If you want to give up some political collateral, do it saving American lives, not holding to some campaign promise that wasn’t yours to begin with — it was the guy before you who set this path in motion and you didn’t even follow his plan,” Jones said, referencing former President Donald Trump.
“The Taliban…we know we can’t trust the Taliban and here’s exactly why,” he continued, explaining that the militant group has no choice but to remain ruthless in order to continue to attract young fighters who have been propagandized to have a “romanticized” view of militant Islam.
“This is never gonna be a Taliban 2.0 and that’s why,” he added, ripping the Biden administration for suggesting otherwise.
Later, Jones and co-host and former Wisconsin GOP Rep. Sean Duffy both agreed that the only thing the Taliban understand is the use of force or the credible threat of it.
“We do have to work with people we don’t like, but we really didn’t have to work with the Taliban like this,” Duffy said. “It was Joe Biden’s decision to put us in this situation.”
He also blasted the administration for appearing to assume that Americans could not go back and fact-check the White House after saying earlier that the Taliban were considered “partners” in helping remove Americans and U.S. allies.
Duffy recalled that Taliban fighters were manning checkpoints to the international airport in Kabul when 13 U.S military personnel were killed by a suicide bomber last week.
“How can you have changing stories when the Taliban hasn’t changed for probably more than 20 years?” Duffy asked.
Toward the end of the segment, co-host Shannon Bream said she found it hard to accept that some people in the U.S. were claiming women in Texas were being treated worse than women under Taliban rule because of the state’s recently implemented ban on abortions past six weeks.
That’s “an outrageous statement,” Bream said, “and if you think that, I’m sure there are a lot of people who will buy you a plane ticket to go hang out with the Taliban and see how you really feel about that.”
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