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President Biden did not refute a story that circulated Thursday that officials in his administration had given the Taliban the identities of Americans stationed in Afghanistan in order to assist them in getting to a safe airport departure.
There have been instances when our military has spoken with their colleagues in the Taliban and informed them that a bus carrying the following group was on its way through and that they should allow it to pass through,” President Obama stated. “Yes, there have been instances when it has occurred.”
Biden went on to claim that, to his knowledge, the “most of that group” has been let through, but that he cannot declare with “certitude” that a list of names has been given to the Taliban.
In response, the president replied, “There may have been.”
Biden was responding to a Politico report, which was later confirmed by Fox News, that U.S. officials in Kabul had given the Taliban a list of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies in an attempt to grant them entry to the airport, a move that drew the ire of military officials on the ground.
In a classified briefing on Capitol Hill this week, one source confirmed to Fox News that the subject did come up. The source also confirmed that U.S. officials did not hand over a list of “every single person in the country,” but rather shared names with the Taliban “whenever they wanted a specific group to come through” rather than in bulk.
Additionally, the source informed Fox News that the distribution of names “basically condemned” those individuals who had been authorized to go to the airport but were not on the particular lists that had been given to them.
Biden was roundly condemned for the report, with many dissatisfied social media users referring to the list as a “death list” after reading it.
The Republican senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, called the attack “absolutely irresponsible and terrible.” “The Biden Administration provided the Taliban with a death list while lying to us, claiming that they did not know the identities or locations of every individual on the list. All of the individuals implicated must either resign or be impeached.”
Biden’s remarks came only hours after a suicide attack carried out by ISIS-K near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport claimed the lives of 13 U.S. military personnel.
Earlier reports that 12 Marines were killed were incorrect, according to officials who spoke to Fox News late Thursday. The dead comprised 10 Marines, two Army troops, and a Navy corpsman, according to officials. Meanwhile, the Pentagon said that more than a dozen additional people were wounded as a result of the strike.
An Islamic State gunfight broke out at the airport’s main entrance after the suicide bombing, where 5,000 Afghans and perhaps some Americans had gathered the night before in order to escape their homeland. A large number of people had collected for days in an attempt to flee the nation, and there had been many warnings about a potential terror danger in the region — especially from the Islamic State.
American rescue and evacuation teams assembled at the Baron Hotel, which had previously been the site of the first explosion and a second assault, according to officials at the Pentagon. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., commander of the Marine Corps, said that two suicide bombers were identified as ISIS members.
CBS News on Kabul attacks: ‘Worst day of the Biden presidency’
Following the deaths of 12 U.S. servicemembers in a suicide attack outside Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell and Nancy Cordes declared Thursday to be “the deadliest day of the Biden administration.”
It was the worst day for American service members in Afghanistan since August 2011, when the violence erupted on Thursday.
“I believe it’s reasonable to say that today is the worst day of the Biden president,” O’Donnell told Nancy Cordes, CBS’s Chief White House Correspondent. “I think it’s fair to say that today is the worst day of the Biden administration.”
Asked whether it was “the worst day of the Biden administration, Norah,” the White House’s Cordes said in the affirmative, later adding, “It is a very significant time for this White House.”
Early Thursday evening, President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech to the nation from the White House. This comes many hours after an assault and other explosions took place near the airport, when hundreds of Americans, Afghans, and others were attempting to leave the country.
“It’s indefensible that we haven’t heard a single word from the President of the United States of America today,” former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Twitter. “At least 12 U.S. [Marines] killed while on a mission to cover up his administration’s failings, and the response from the White House has been deafening silence.”
O’Donnell pointed out that the president had hoped to get troops out of Afghanistan before the anniversary of the September 11th attacks in 2021. Cordes and she agreed on another issue when she stated that instead of waking up, he finds himself in a “dreaded nightmare situation.”
As Cordes pointed out, “as you can see, Norah, this one event is going to cause political divisiveness in this community, perhaps for years to come.”
Conservative figures such as former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn have called for Biden’s resignation in the aftermath of Thursday’s atrocity, as well as the resignation of many other members of the administration. Biden has refused to step down.
The senators stated that Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, and General Milley should all quit, or else they would face impeachment and expulsion from their positions.