During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, 78-year-old Joe Biden was pressed over the recent chaos which has unfolded under his administration in Afghanistan.
ABC News released snippets of the interview with Biden, which will formally air Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America”.
George Stephanopoulos asked the Democrat career politician: “When you look at what’s happened over the last week, was it a failure of intelligence planning, execution, or judgement?”
Joe Biden replied: “Look. I don’t think it was a fair — look, it was a simple choice, George. When they — when the Taliban — let me back up and put it another way. When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government, get in a plane and taking off and going to another country, when you saw the significant collapse of the Afghan troops we had trained — up to 30,000 of them — just leaving their equipment and taking off, that was, you know, I’m not — that’s what happened.”
Stephanopoulos also pressed Biden over the deadly U.S. Air Force C-17 takeoff from Kabul on Monday, during which Afghans mobbed and clung to the accelerating plane, resulting in multiple deaths.
The viral video footage of the Globemaster II showed Afghan men swarming the aircraft, which had landed at Hamid Karzai International Airport to deliver equipment supporting the evacuation operations the U.S. military had set up there, Tara Copp at Defense One reported. Continued Below
“But we’ve all seen the pictures. We’ve seen those hundreds of people packed into a C-17. We’ve seen Afghans falling…”, Stephanopoulos said to Biden before being interrupted.
“That was four days ago, five days ago,” Biden vented in response. (The video footage was captured on Monday, August 16– two days ago.)
Asked what did he think when he first saw those pictures, Biden said, “What I first thought was, we have to gain control of this. We have to move this more quickly. We have to move in a way in which we can take control of that airport. And we did.” Continued Below
Biden later claimed during the interview “The idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing– I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how that happened.”
However, Joe Biden’s State Department moved to cancel a critical State Department program aimed at providing swift and safe evacuations of Americans out of crisis zones just months prior to the fall of Kabul, The National Pulse exclusively reported on Wednesday.
EXCLUSIVE: Pressed on whether the U.S.'s exit from Afghanistan could have been handled better, Pres. Biden tells me, "The idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing—I don't know how that happens." https://t.co/j2MYMUJcdKpic.twitter.com/ua9T2q9wal
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) August 18, 2021
In a distressing video, Afghans can be seen attempting to hold onto a U.S. military plane as it takes off from Kabul airport. According to reports, at least three people died after falling from the aircraft. pic.twitter.com/WvrO0FIIyv
— euronews (@euronews) August 16, 2021
“Before the aircrew could offload the cargo, the aircraft was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians who had breached the airport perimeter,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible,” Defense One reported. Continued Below
The National Pulse reported:
The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” – which was designed to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support concerning Americans overseas was paused by Antony Blinken’s State Department earlier this year. Notification was officially signed just months before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
“SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED,” an official State Department document from the Biden State Department begins, before outlining the following move the quash the Trump-era funding for the new bureau.
The document is from the desk of Deputy Secretary of State Brian P. McKeon, confirmed in March by the United States Senate.
The document is dated June 11, 2021, though The National Pulse understands the decision to pause the program may have come as early as February, both undermining the original Trump-era date for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and certainly giving the Taliban time to threaten American assets and lives on the run up to Joe Biden’s September 11th date of withdrawal. The document reveals the recommendations were approved on June 11th 2021.
Read the full REPORT by Raheem J. Kassam at The National Pulse.