White House press secretary Jen Psaki called it “irresponsible” to say that Americans are “stranded” in Kabul, contradicting reports from Americans stranded in the Afghan capital city, members of Congress attempting to help them, and comments by Biden administration officials.
Her comments at the White House daily press briefing today, claiming that Americans are not stranded in the Afghan capital, are the latest installment of an unconvincing effort to defend the administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan (Jim Geraghty wrote more about the administration’s broader effort to spin itself out of this crisis).
“I’m calling you out for saying that we are stranding American in Afghanistan, when I said we have been very clear that we are not leaving. Americans who want to return home, we are going to bring them home, and I think that’s important for the American public to hear and understand,” Psaki said in response to a question from Fox’s Peter Doocy.
Her claim rests on a dubious interpretation of what stranded means, seeming to suggest that American citizens are not stranded because the U.S. government will eventually bring them home.
But thousands of Americans are currently in Taliban-controlled territory beyond the perimeter administered by U.S. and allied forces at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, as national-security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Although the U.S. embassy in Kabul has encouraged Americans to evacuate, it also notified them that it cannot ensure their safe passage to the airport, then on August 21, it advised them not to attempt the trip due to “potential security threats” — as reports emerged that Taliban guards were beating people attempting to get through.
Read more at National Review