White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to admit that President Joe Biden had made any mistakes in the Afghanistan withdrawal, despite telling Americans we had to “learn from our mistakes” in a speech to the nation Tuesday afternoon.
Yamiche Alcindor of PBS had the following exchange with Psaki:
Alcindor: The president said that the U.S. should learn from its mistakes in the past. Does the president have any mistakes that he thinks he made during this withdrawal from Afghanistan that he wants to learn from?
Psaki: Well, I would say I think the president has been pretty clear that we all had an expectation that the Afghan national security forces would fight harder at the end, would fight against the Taliban. We all had an expectation that [Afghan] President Ghani would not flee the country. Those were not expectations that were clearly met. So you can spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror. What our focus is on now is moving forward on our diplomatic effort, settling Afghan refugees, SIV applicants, and others who are coming to the United States, doing that in a very thorough and clear way, and also getting them settled in communities, that’s what our focus needs to be on.
Alcindor: … He shouldn’t have made those assumptions about the Afghan government? Is that the lesson for him, then?
Psaki: Well, I think most people made that assumption, but I don’t have any more for you.
Alcindor: I only ask that because he said that the U.S. should learn from their mistakes —
Psaki: Right, and he laid out what he clearly thinks they are over the past 20 years.
Biden spent much of his address repeatedly blaming President Donald Trump for the withdrawal in Afghanistan.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.