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Is the White House Still Lying About Americans Left Behind in Afghanistan?

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

After the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration claimed there were 100-200 American citizens left behind and that they were working aggressively to get them all out.

It quickly became clear that the Biden administration wasn’t being honest about the numbers. In the last week of August, a leaked State Department cable revealed that Americans represented less than 17% of the evacuated people. One U.S. official told the Daily Caller that an estimated 8,000 Americans would still be in the country after troops left.

Sure enough, the number of American citizens the Biden administration acknowledged were trapped in the Taliban-controlled country kept going up, not down. By the end of October, the State Department said 363 American citizens were still in Afghanistan, and only 176 of them wanted to leave.

On Monday, the Biden administration released new numbers, which, of course, were higher than that. According to figures released by the State Department, they evacuated 479 American citizens and 450 lawful permanent residents and their immediate families from Afghanistan.

Funny how the number keeps going up and up and up. Peter Doocy of Fox News asked Jen Psaki about this during Tuesday’s press briefing, and, true to form, her response wasn’t great.

“Why is it that there are still Americans stranded in Afghanistan?” he asked.

“Let me just reiterate something that Tony Blinken said back in August which is that if Americans who are in Afghanistan wanted to leave whether it was three weeks from now, a month from now, two months from now, back in August, we would help them get out and that is something we have delivered on our word on,” Psaki retorted. “I would note that since that time, we have directly assisted 479 American citizens, 450 lawful permanent residents, and SIV holders and SIV applicants to depart Afghanistan.”

“That’s important to convey because it’s important for people to understand who were there,” Psaki continued, “that even if they decided not to — they decided not to today, we are still going to help them depart. And there’s evidence of that.”

Of course, Doocy wasn’t done. “Okay. Four hundred seventy-nine left behind is a lot higher than the 100 to 200 that President Biden was talking about at the end of August,” he said. “How do you guys get the numbers?”

“There were people who wanted — determined they wanted to leave since then, and it is our responsibility to help them depart. So that’s evidence of our commitment to do exactly that.”

The Biden administration now claims less than a dozen U.S. citizens are left in the country. But can we trust their numbers? It’s clear they had no idea how many of our people were even in the country in the first place, and who’s to say that the numbers won’t continue to go up for the foreseeable future?

The Biden administration was deliberately vague about how many U.S. citizens were evacuated during the withdrawal. How can we trust them not to be fudging the numbers about how many U.S. citizens are still there? Will the number keep climbing gradually so the number of citizens in the country can always be balanced by the numbers of those evacuated? At this point, I wouldn’t put anything past them.

Related: Biden Abandoned US Military Families in Afghanistan

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