President Biden held a press conference this evening to address the tragic bombing at the Kabul airport earlier today which claimed the lives of at least 12 U.S. service personnel, killed scores of civilians, and injured at least 150 people. The attack was reportedly carried out by terrorists from ISIS-K, a group that the Taliban has been waging war against.
During his remarks, the president vowed to bring justice to those responsible for the nihilistic, murderous bombing and remained steadfast in his belief that withdrawing from the twenty-year-long war in Afghanistan is the right thing to do.
After taking several questions from reporters, Biden decided to call on Peter Doocy of Fox News who he jokingly referred to him as the “most interesting guy I that know in the press.” Readers will recognize Doocy from his frequent dustups with White House Press Secretary. He is relentless in pushing right-wing talking points and often seems far more interested in landing gotcha soundbites than extracting meaningful information from the administration.
Doocy asked the president if he “bears any responsibility for the way that things have unfolded in the last two weeks.”
“I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that’s happened of late,” said Biden, doing something that Trump was infamously incapable of doing. “But here’s the deal you know—I wish you one day would say these things—you know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban that he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1. In return, the commitment was made—and that was a year before—in return he was given a commitment that the Taliban would continue to attack others but would not attack any American forces.”
“Remember that?” Biden asked Doocy directly. “I’m being serious. I’m asking you a question.” Doocy interjected and Biden pushed on. “No, I’m asking you a question.” Doocy responded but the microphone didn’t pick his words up clearly. “Is that accurate?” Biden forged on.
“No, no wait a minute I’m asking you a question. Is that accurate to the best of your knowledge?” asked Biden. Doocy’s tepid response prompted Biden to hang his head in exasperation.
Biden hangs his head in exasperation during a back-and-forth with Fox News’ Peter Doocy.
Biden turns the question back to Doocy, asking if he remembers the deal Trump made with the Taliban in 2020. pic.twitter.com/mWEd6CDMK7
— The Recount (@therecount) August 26, 2021
Doocy asked the president whether he thinks critics of his Afghanistan withdrawal have “an issue” with pulling out of Afghanistan in general or with the manner in which it is being done.
“I think they have an issue that people are likely to get hurt, some as we’ve seen have gotten killed, and that it is messy,” said Biden. “The reason why, whether my friend will acknowledge it or has reported it, the reason why there were no attacks on Americans as you said from the date until I came into office was because the commitment was made by President Trump ‘I will be out by May 1st. In the meantime, you agree to not attack any Americans.’ That was the deal. That’s why no American was attacked.”
Biden went on to explain that there are no ideal options on the table. Either U.S. forces withdraw from the region or we commit thousands of more troops to a failed war. His decision was not an easy one, but it will likely be validated by history.
Biden says he stands by his decision to withdraw troops: "I have never been in the view that we should be sacrificing American lives to try to establish a democratic government in Afghanistan, a country that has never once in its entire history been a united country." pic.twitter.com/xaivzMChpJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 26, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.