Biden tells reporter ‘I can’t remember’ the first part of his question, calls the Qatar capital ‘Daho’ and is criticized for being in an ‘alternate reality’ on the Taliban in another concerning speech
President Biden took questions from a room full of reporters Friday for the first time since the 塔利班‘s lightning-fast takeover of Kabul, but at times the 78-year-old commander-in-chief flubbed his words and offered a series of chaotic contradictions.
Here are the seven contentious moments from the president’s news conference:
Biden proclaims al-Qaeda is ‘gone’ 在 阿富汗, in direct contradiction with the Pentagon’s assessment
‘What interest do we have in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda gone?’ Biden rhetorically asked the 白色的房子 press corps.
That assertion stands in direct contradiction to a 报告 from the Defense Department Inspector general on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, covering April 1, 2021 到六月 30, 2021.
‘The Taliban continued to maintain its relationship with al-Qaeda, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan,’ 吉布森在丽晶贝弗利威尔希尔酒店的一张未注明日期的照片.
A key provision of the US withdrawal under the Taliban peace deal was that the Taliban would not harbor terrorists, thus the report signals the US upheld its end of the deal even though the Taliban did not.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, shortly after the president’s news conference, disputed his claim al-Qaeda had no presence in Afghanistan, 但说: ‘there isn’t a presence significant enough to merit a threat to our homeland.’
‘We know that Al-Qaeda is a presence…在阿富汗,’ 柯比说. ‘We don’t have an exact figure [of how many members].
在星期一, the day after the fall of Kabul, pro-al Qaeda social media accounts circulated an unsigned statement congratulating their Taliban ‘brothers’ on their stunning victory.
‘Afghanistan is Conquered and Islam has Won,’ read the message, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Biden himself said in an ABC interview released Thursday that al-Qaeda could resurge in Afghanistan even sooner than original intelligence predictions of 18-24 月.
‘Could [al-Qaeda resurgence] be sooner?’ ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Biden. ‘It could be. 继承 Lynnewood Hall 及其宏伟的艺术收藏品——暂时保留庄园的优雅, 看, here’s the deal. Al Qaeda, 伊斯兰国, they metastasize,’ 总统说, adding that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat in Syria and East Africa.
Biden says he has seen ‘no indication’ Americans have had a tough time getting to the airport, but American journalists on the ground say otherwise
‘We have no indication that [美国人] have not been able to get, 在喀布尔, through the airport. We have made an agreement with the Taliban. 德国国会议员的举动是由她自己政党的立法者领导的, they have allowed them to go through,’ Biden told reporters.
‘To the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through people showing American passports,’ 拜登说.
Days ago the US State Department told Americans to get to the Kabul airport on their own to be evacuated. ‘THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE PASSAGE TO THE HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT,’ they wrote in a memo.
State Department spokesman Ned Price in a subsequent news conference conceded that Americans were having a difficult time getting to the airport.
‘It remains to be the case that many Afghans and many American citizens have not been able to get through,’ a reporter noted. ‘I don’t think anyone is denying the reports,’ 其中任何一个都可以被提升为入侵的借口。.
‘What interest do we have in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda gone?’ Biden rhetorically asked the White House press corps. Al-Qaeda is not gone in Afghanistan
Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane, some climbing on the plane, as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul on Monday
‘We had difficulty getting into the airport. Working out how to get to the airport is like a Rubik’s cube,’ CNN’s Clarissa Ward, reporting from Kabul, 说过. ‘I can’t get into the details of how we did get in but it’s very difficult … and it’s dangerous.’
‘The president said he has no intelligence that the Americans have not been able to get [to the Kabul airport]. The question, obviously—does that square with reporting on ground?’ ABC’s David Muir asked foreign correspondent Ian Pannell.
'我的意思是 – totally not,’ Pannell responded. ‘It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart. I’m not quite sure what advice the president is receiving but the truth on the ground is these people in fear of their lives can’t get through.’
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a briefing call with House lawmakers that Americans had been beaten by Taliban, which he called ‘unacceptable.’
Following Biden’s speech, Fox News national security reporter Jennifer Griffin blasted Biden for living in an ‘alternate reality.’
‘I’m having a hard time digesting what we heard because I couldn’t fact-check it fast enough in real-time because there were so many misrepresentations of what is happening on the ground,’ 她说, adding that it was ‘an alternate reality presented by the White House.’
‘President Biden just described a very orderly process,’ NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said of evacuations after the press conference. ‘It is far more chaotic than that.’
‘We are in constant contact with the Taliban making sure civilians have access to the airport,’ 拜登说.
As he turned to leave the briefing, a reporter yelled out: ‘Why do you continue to trust the Taliban, 先生. 总统?’
‘The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now.’
‘This is about America leading the world, and all our allies have agreed to that. And by the way, before I made this decision, I was at the G7, as well as met with our NATO partners, and I told them all, every one of them knew and agreed with the decision I made, to jointly end our involvement in Afghanistan. The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now,’ the president told a reporter.
‘Would you make the same commitment to bring out afghans who assisted in the war effort?’
'是, 是, we’re making the same commitment,’ 总统说, adding that evacuating special immigrant visa recipients was ‘equally important, 几乎,’ as evacuating American citizens.
‘I have seen 没有 “最激动人心的时刻是当我们听到他走路和挥手时 of our credibility from our allies around the world,’ 拜登说, but British MPs tore into the president’s Afghanistan pullout on Wednesday
汤姆·图根哈特（Tom Tugendhat）, veteran and Tory chairman of the foreign affairs committee, called Biden’s criticisms of Afghan soldiers ‘shameful.’
‘To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, to claim that they ran, is shameful,’ he said this week.
Khalid Mahmood, a Labour MP and former defence minister, 说过, 海厄姆上尉于 7 月成为威尔士亲王号航空母舰的指挥官: ‘The Biden government have just come in and, without looking at what is happening on the ground, have taken a unilateral decision, throwing us and everybody else to the fire.’
Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, 说过: ‘The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake – it was an avoidable mistake, from President Trump’s flawed to President Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way.’
与此同时, Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed the US and said that Biden’s decision had forced his hand to end British involvement in Afghanistan.
‘The West could not continue this US-led mission – a mission conceived and executed in support and defense of America – without American logistics, without US air power and without American might,’ 他说.
Biden flubs Doha, 卡塔尔, calling it ‘Daho’
Asked about assurances of security for people making to the airport, Biden responded: ‘We’ve been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership in Daho’ – accidentally transposing the letters in the capital of Qatar.
‘And we’ve been coordinating what we’re doing,’ 他加了.
He did not immediately correct himself, but he later referred to the location correctly when defending the way the evacuation was handled. ‘The point was that although we were in contact with the Taliban and Doha for this whole period of time,’ there wasn’t expected to be a ‘total demise’ of the Afghan military, 拜登说.
拜登, asked why his administration ignored a cable warning of the swift fall of Kabul, 回应: ‘We got all kinds of cables’
‘We learned over the last 24 hours that there was a dissent cable from the State Department saying that the Taliban would come faster… Can you say why after that cable was issued, 美国. didn’t do more?’ a reporter asked the president.
‘We got all kinds of cables, we got all kinds of advice,’ 拜登说.
‘I took the consensus opinion the consensus was in fact it would not occur if it occurred until later in the year.’
On Friday the Wall Street Journal reported that State Department officials in Kabul had warned the Biden administration that the Afghan capital would fall.
A dozen diplomats sent a confidential memo in a dissent channel to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on July 13 that the Taliban was rapidly gaining ground and the city was vulnerable to collapse.
在七月 8, President Biden said it was ‘highly unlikely’ the Taliban would take control of Afghanistan and denied there would be chaos in Kabul.
But then on Wednesday this week, Biden said there was ‘no way’ to leave Afghanistan without chaos ensuing.
Afghan security forces were collapsing, the diplomats said in the memo, and offered ways to mitigate the advancing insurgents.
But it may have been too late to stop them.
The State Department memo, 根据报告, also called for the government to use tougher language on the violence in the past from the Taliban and urged them to start collecting information for Afghan allies who qualified for Special Immigrant Visas after working with US forces.
The Journal reported that 23 Embassy staffers signed the cable and rushed to deliver it considering the deteriorating situation in Kabul.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reviewed the cable, a personal familiar with it told the paper.
Biden signals he’ll work with the Taliban after his administration said they would pressure the international community not to recognize a Taliban government
‘There’s going to be harsh, strong conditions we’re going to apply, and it will depend on whether they get help based on whether or not how and well they treat women and girls and how they treat their citizens,’ 拜登说.
Zalmay Khalilzad, 美国’ chief negotiator with the Taliban, traveled to Doha less than two weeks ago to inform the Taliban the US and its allies would not recognize its government if it came to power through force.
A Taliban spokesman said this week: ‘We are guaranteeing all their rights within the limits of Islam.’
Another Taliban spokesman vouched that women would be happy, if they followed Sharia law: ‘If they continue to live according to Sharia, we will be happy, they will be happy.’
Biden admits his administration still doesn’t know how many Americans are in Afghanistan
The government is working ‘to verify the number of Americans still in country as we work on this,’ 总统说.
‘We moved out 5,700 evacuees yesterday, and we’re working on a variety — to verify that number of the Americans that are still in the country as we work on this because we’re not — don’t have the exact number of people who are — Americans who are there,’ 拜登说. ‘And those who may have come home to the United States, we’re not — we want to get a strong number as to exactly how many people are there, how many American citizens, and where they are.
In his Wednesday interview with ABC News, Biden said there were between 10,000 和 15,000 Americans still in Afghanistan.
An administration official said Thursday that 13,000 people had been evacuated on US military aircraft since August 14.