President Biden struggled with his reply to the Afghanistan crisis after days of laying low and seemingly waiting for things to blow over.
Faced with public outcry from the media over the president’s unwillingness to take any questions about the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, Biden gave an interview to George Stephanopoulos at the White House to defend himself and his team.
The interview was the first time he took questions about Afghanistan in eight days. But he did not seem to be prepared.
Joe snapped at Stephanopoulos for asking about the Afghan people running to a plane at the airport in Kabul, some even falling to their demise as it lifted off.
“That was four days ago, five days ago,” Biden said sharply when asked about these images, attempting to dismiss them entirely.
In fact, the event happened just two days ago, which Stephanopoulos didn’t mention.
When asked about the images, Biden responded that he wanted the military to get in control of the problem — avoiding any appearance of emotion about the scenes that were seen all around the world.
“What I believed was, we have to get control of this,” he said. “We have to go more quickly. We have to move so we can take control of the airport. And this is what we did.”
When Stephanopoulos asked if the withdrawal could have been handled better, Biden denied it.
“No. I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that — and we are looking back in hindsight and look — but the idea that there is a way to have left without chaos, I don’t understand how that happens,” he said.
Biden also was defiant against critics during the interview, calling his order to withdraw from Afghanistan a “simple decision” rather than something that he and his team might have planned and executed better.
“When you look at what has happened over the past week, was it a failure from the intelligence, planning, execution, or was it judgment?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Look, it was an easy choice, George,” Biden replied, arguing that he could have either kept to the withdrawal date of August 31 or pushed it back it further with more troops.
Biden has locked down his Thursday schedule and there are no public events or press briefings planned.
Author: Steven Sinclaire