On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied that Americans have been stranded in Afghanistan – and took offense to the very suggestion when it was brought up by Fox News’ Peter Doocy.
National security officials have said that many Americans haven’t been able to evacuate, and the New York Times reported yesterday that Americans are indeed stranded.
The exchange took place during Monday’s White House press briefing.
Fox News’ reporter Peter Doocy asked Psaki, “Does the President have the sense that most of the criticism is not of leaving Afghanistan, it’s the way that he has ordered it to happen by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded. Does he have a sense of that?”
Psaki had a problem with Doocy using the word “stranded.”
She replied, “First of all, I think it is irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not.”
“We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home,” Psaki continued.
She added, “We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home.”
“’There are no Americans stranded’ is the White House’s official position on what is happening in Afghanistan?” Doocy insisted.
“I’m just calling you out for saying we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan, when 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.
On Sunday, Fox News reported national security adviser Jake Sullivan saying that “several thousand Americans” remain in Afghanistan.
For Americans still in Afghanistan, they have been instructed to “shelter in place” in recent days instead of attempting to go to or fly out of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin admitted to House members that Taliban had beaten some Americans who tried to get to the airport in Kabul.
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