President Joe Biden on Friday failed to offer “any plan whatsoever to get Americans safely out of Afghanistan,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) observed.
“Missing from Joe Biden’s press conference: Any plan whatsoever to get Americans safely out of Afghanistan. Still no instruction on how to ‘get to the airport,'” the Republican lawmaker remarked following Biden’s speech on Friday. Notably, the White House called a lid minutes after its completion:
Missing from Joe Biden’s press conference: Any plan whatsoever to get Americans safely out of Afghanistan. Still no instruction on how to “get to the airport.”
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) August 20, 2021
During the press conference, Biden literally said “knock on wood” to describe his administration’s Afghanistan strategy.
“What we’ve done so far is been able to get a large number of Americans out, all our personnel at the embassy out, and so on,” Biden said. “And thank God, so far, knock on wood, we’re in a different position”:
🚨🚨: Stephanopoulos says there's still a lot of pandemonium at the Kabul airport.
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) August 19, 2021
He also said his administration was in “constant contact” with the Taliban, “working to ensure civilians have safe passage to the airport,” but he contradicted himself after promising he would get Americans who are stranded in the country home to safety, only to admit he could not guarantee the success of the mission.
“Let me be clear: any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” Biden said.
“I cannot promise what the final outcome will be, or that it will be without risk of loss, but as commander-in-chief, I can assure you that I will use every resource necessary,” he added.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also blasted Biden following his press conference, accusing him of lying when he claimed there is “no circumstance” of Americans being unable to access the Kabul airport:
Joe Biden said there is “no circumstance” where Americans have been blocked from the Kabul airport.
This is a lie.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 20, 2021
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby later admitted there are reports of “some Americans not being able to get through checkpoints”:
“I fully admit that — by and large, what we’ve been seeing is that Americans are able to get through those checkpoints and are able to get onto the airfield,” he said.
On Saturday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul released a security alert advising U.S. citizens to “avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.”