Even among friendly company, President Joe Biden gets defensive. Sitting with Democrat-operative-turned-political-commentator George Stephanopoulos, Biden said he doesn’t see how the United States could have avoided “chaos ensuing” during the ignoble effort to evacuate people from Afghanistan.
But as even CNN’s Wolf Blitzer quickly noted, the president claimed six weeks ago that “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Biden also told reporters in early July that a Taliban takeover was “not inevitable” because the Afghan government could fend off the Islamist militants. Just last weekend, Biden said his administration had planned for an “orderly and safe” evacuation of Americans and Afghans.
When Stephanopoulos asked about any planning or execution failures in the recent tumultuous days, Biden admitted to none, and again passed blame for the debacle in Kabul and elsewhere to the U.S.-backed Afghan military, along with ex-president Ashraf Ghani’s decision to flee the country.
“The president is pretending he was merely an observer in the collapse of the Afghan government and military,” National Review’s Isaac Schorr tweeted Wednesday. “In fact, he was its proximate instigator.”
When reminded of the chaos and tragedies in and around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Biden bristled, “That was four days ago, five days ago!”
It was, in fact, only two days ago.
“Some people forget this is who Joe Biden is and has always been,” a Republican insider told PJ Media Wednesday afternoon. “He’s never been able to admit fault, and he cantankerously lashes out when faced with tough questions or legitimate criticism.”
The interview was Biden’s first time answering questions from a reporter since the Afghan government toppled.
EXCLUSIVE: Pressed on whether the U.S.'s exit from Afghanistan could have been handled better, Pres. Biden tells me, "The idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing—I don't know how that happens." https://t.co/j2MYMUJcdKpic.twitter.com/ua9T2q9wal
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) August 18, 2021