Biden insists no mistakes were made in US exit from Afghanistan

Biden insists no mistakes were made in US exit from Afghanistan
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President Joe Biden defended his administration's rushed exit from Afghanistan, despite Afghans dying in the chaos at and around Kabul's international airport.

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos pressed Biden on his administration's handling of the evacuation process, asking him whether "mistakes" were made.

BIDEN'S CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION UNDER SCRUTINY AMID AFGHANISTAN COLLAPSE

"No, I don't think it could have been handled in a way that, we're gonna go back in hindsight and look — but 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," the president said Wednesday.

Biden also appeared frustrated and defiant when needled about photos and videos taken Monday of Afghans holding on to a U.S. military plane taxing at Hamid Karzai International Airport. Some later plummeted from the aircraft to their deaths after takeoff.

"We've all seen the pictures. We've seen those hundreds of people packed in a C-17. We've seen Afghans falling —" Stephanopoulos started.

"That was four days ago, five days ago!" Biden interjected, laying out an incorrect timeline.

The interview was Biden's first time taking questions from a reporter after the Afghan government fell over the weekend. His administration is extracting up to 15,000 Americans and 65,000 Afghan nationals seeking special visa status before a self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline but is not helping people get to the airport. The airfield is surrounded by the Taliban and checkpoints have hardened.

Biden also insisted “there was no consensus” in his intelligence when he claimed last month it was "unlikely" the Taliban would seize control of Afghanistan.

“They said it was more likely to be by the end of the year," he said. "The idea that the Taliban would take over was premised on the notion that somehow the 300,000 troops we had trained and equipped was going to just collapse, they were going to give up. I don't think anybody anticipated that."

Biden said Wednesday a surged number of service members would remain in Afghanistan until all Americans who wanted to leave were out, contradicting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's comments during a press conference earlier in the day.

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"The commitment holds to get everyone out that, in fact, we can get out and everyone who should come out. And that's the objective. That's what we're doing now. That's the path we're on. And I think we'll get there," he said.

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Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Biden insists no mistakes were made in US exit from Afghanistan

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