Among Biden’s claims that were quickly debunked was his assertion that al Qaeda is “gone” from Afghanistan. Just minutes later, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that “there is an al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan,” though he said they don’t pose a significant threat to the homeland.
Biden also claimed he knows of “no circumstance” where American citizens were blocked from getting to the Kabul airport for evacuation, citing an existing agreement with the Taliban to allow safe passage.
“This a lie,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., tweeted in response. “My office has received reports of Americans unable to enter the airport.”
Even Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, didn’t dispute reports that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers earlier that some Americans had been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul. Kirby said the Biden administration is “certainly mindful” of these “deeply troubling” reports and the U.S. has told the Taliban it’s “absolutely unacceptable.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Biden appears to be “willfully ignorant” of the facts.
“President Biden is either divorced from reality or he’s intentionally misleading the nation about what is actually happening in Afghanistan,” Tillis said in a statement. “The evacuation process is a nightmare. It is unconscionable that the most powerful nation on earth won’t guarantee the safe passage of American citizens, instead choosing to put their fate in the hands of the Taliban.”
Biden also caught heat for claiming he’s seen “no questioning of our credibility from our allies around the world” over his handling of Afghanistan, even though British lawmakers openly condemned Biden’s handling of the collapse of Afghanistan earlier this week.
Sen. Joni Ernst, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, said Biden is trying to whitewash the facts.
“President Biden continues to shift blame, obscure facts, and whitewash a complete debacle,” Ernst tweeted.