After keeping a relatively low profile in the days after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, President Joe Biden decided to give an interview Wednesday to ABC News host George Stephanopoulos regarding his administration’s decision to withdraw troops from the Central Asian nation. However, that move could soon be one he comes to regret.
During his conversation with Stephanopoulos, Biden gave answers that at times were bizarre or inaccurate and may well further damage his credibility amid a humanitarian and PR disaster that his administration is struggling to grapple with.
Stumbling through interview
Stephanopoulos at one point asked the president whether the scenes of chaos and death at Kabul’s airport represented “a failure of intelligence, planning, execution, or judgment.”
As a transcript of the exchange published by ABC News revealed, Biden struggled to remain coherent as he attempted to offer a response.
“Look, I don’t think it was a fa– — look, it was a simple choice, George,” Biden said, according to the transcript. “When the — when the Taliban — let me back — put it another way.”
Biden went on: “When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government get in a plane and taking off and going to another country, when you saw the significant collapse of the ta– — of the — Afghan troops we had trained — up to 300,000 of them just leaving their equipment and taking off, that was — you know, I’m not — this — that — that’s what happened.”
Stephanopoulos later made reference to viral images showing desperate Afghans clinging to a U.S. transport plane, with some reportedly falling to their deaths as the aircraft ascended.
Rather than express sorrow for those scenes, Biden expressed frustration that Stephanopoulos chose to bring them up, complaining: “That was four days ago, five days ago.”
Biden appears confused
The president also brought up his late son, Beau Biden, who he said “spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major — I mean, as an Army major.” Joe Biden said his son “had regrets comin’ out of Afganista– — I mean, out of Iraq.”
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out on a recent segment of his own show, Beau Biden served in the Army and was never deployed to Afghanistan.
The president may have been confusing Beau with his brother Hunter, who served a brief stint in the Navy before being kicked out due to drug use.
Carlson also noted that President Biden’s comments regarding Beau did not appear in the interview broadcast, leading him to suggest that ABC News had cut it to make the president look better. Who would be surprised?