Joe Biden exits Afghanistan press conference as reporters shout
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The President appeared just a day after it emerged diplomats in the US embassy in Kabul warned last month the city would fall. They also advised to speed up evacuations. Mr Biden told the nation: “Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous and involves risks to our armed forces. I cannot promise what the final outcome will be.” He added: “It’s time to end this war.”
A dozen diplomats sent a confidential memo to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on July 13 that the Taliban was gaining ground and Kabul was vulnerable.
Days before on July 8, Mr Biden had deemed it “highly unlikely” the Taliban would take control of Afghanistan and its capital.
It is feared the Biden administration failed to take warnings seriously as US forces left Afghanistan.
And there are mounting questions over how the White House, the Pentagon and US intelligence services evaluated the future of Afghanistan, the threat of the Taliban and the potential for a power shift.
Mr Biden sparked fury on Thursday after saying “no one is being killed” in the chaos around Kabul airport, despite the fact there were 12 deaths, including that of a 14-year-old girl, in a stampede.
The 78-year-old also said he could not “recall” if military chiefs warned him to keep US troops on the ground.
When ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos asked him, “Your military advisers did not tell you, ‘No, we should just keep 2,500 troops, it’s been a stable situation for the last several years, we can do that’?”, the President replied: “No, no one said that to me that I can recall.”
His words were attacked by both Republican and Democrat supporters branding the US leader “shameful.”
Biden said he would have still brought troops home had his predecessor Donald Trump not made a deal to get everyone out by May 1.
The President drew further criticism after telling Stephanopoulos he never saw “a way to have gotten out [of the country] with chaos”.
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