Jen Psaki, who was on vacation Tuesday, returned to the Aghanistan disaster area in the absence of President Joe Biden, still at Camp David.
On the Biden administration’s failure to evacuate diplomats, interpreters and civilians from war-torn countries in an orderly military withdrawal, the White House Press Secretary was subject to unprecedented media attention. You can watch the video here
Watch It Here:
.@PressSec Jen Psaki on withdrawing U.S. forces: "The president stands by his decision because he knows it's in the interests of the United States, our national security, and the American people." pic.twitter.com/7aM7MLamB1— The Hill (@thehill) August 17, 2021
“There has been some criticism from Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill — Mark Warner, Bob Mendendez — Menendez saying, ‘I am disappointed the Biden administration did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid withdrawal. What is the White House’s response to those lawmakers?” CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked.
“I would first say that we did assess early on, when the president asked for a clear-eyed assessment, that there would be impacts and there would be consequences for making the choice he made,” Psaki replied.
“He also acknowledged yesterday, and I would just reiterate, this has happened more rapidly than we had anticipated here,” she continued. “Than anyone anticipated, I think that accounts for members of Congress and people who are on the ground in Afghanistan.”
Of course, this is not true. Biden’s administration was warned of the dangers associated with a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, they did not secure a proper evacuation. Mark Zeller, an ex-CIA analyst, appeared on MSNBC in the wake of Biden’s speech on the Afghanistan withdrawal and stated that the administration had been warned multiple times in advance, but no one listened.
“There is such a profound bald-faced lie in that speech, the idea that we planned for every contingency,” Zeller said. “I have been personally trying to tell this administration since he took office, trying to tell our government for years, that this was coming.”
“We sent them plan after plan on how to evacuate these people,” Zeller added. “Nobody listened to us. They didn’t plan for the evacuation of our Afghan war-time allies. They’re trying to conduct it now at the eleventh hour.”
Psaki was asked more questions by the press corps, who did not seem to be buying the White House line.
“Sort of to follow on Kaitlan’s question about criticism from people who are your allies and your friends,” another reporter spoke up. “David Axelrod has called you the best press secretary in his lifetime, I think. But he’s also said the events of the last weekend, and this is paraphrasing here, but ‘indefensible.’ He said, ‘you can’t defend them.’”
“And he’s also said that basically you should acknowledge it was a ‘failure’,” the reporter added. “And be willing to say that the events of the last several days were a failure.”
Jen Psaki was unwilling to do this. However, the journalists who were questioning the Biden administration at their press conference today could as well have said it.
The whole White House press conference displayed more hostility and impatience towards the Biden administration than perhaps any other time in recent Democratic presidential history. Even mainstream media are starting to see the Biden presidency as a failure, and the tide is turning against it.