Thousands of Americans remain trapped in Afghanistan, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan telling CNN Sunday that the Biden administration remains uncertain as to their exact number.
While the situation in Afghanistan is bleak, it doesn’t seem to have put Vice President Kamala Harris into much of a somber mood. As The New York Post reported, Harris began laughing last week after being asked about the devolving situation in Afghanistan.
Her signature, cackling outburst came as she was approached by reporters on Friday evening with questions about how the Biden administration would deal with Americans and Afghan partners who are currently stranded across the country.
Thousands in limbo
“Hold on, hold on — slow down, everybody!” the vice president interrupted before proceeding to emit a hearty cackle. Harris gathered herself and went on to state that her administration “couldn’t have a higher priority right now” than addressing the crisis.
The incident isn’t the first time that Harris has laughed at what any reasonable person would believe to be an inappropriate moment for laughter, as she received widespread criticism for laughing earlier this year when a reporter asked if she had any plans to visit America’s southern U.S. border, Fox News noted.
Despite the vice president’s levity, there are growing fears that the U.S. government will not be able to evacuate all of its citizens and its Afghan allies before the Taliban-enforced deadline of Aug. 31.
On Tuesday, Fox News cited an unnamed administration official as saying that President Joe Biden decided against extending the deadline.
The news comes as Fox News also reported that the Taliban is threatening “consequences” if the United States or its allies attempt to keep forces in the country past the deadline.
“It’s a red line,” a Taliban spokesperson told Sky News. “President Biden announced that on Aug. 31 they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it, that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.”
“If the U.S. or U.K. were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no,” the Taliban spokesperson said, adding that “there would be consequences.”
The threats drew a harsh response from former U.S. Navy SEAL and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R), who tweeted, “The only proper response from America to these dirty savage terrorists should be: Go f*** yourself.”
Crenshaw later added, “By refusing to extend the self-imposed Aug 31st deadline, President Biden is potentially turning this disaster into something far worse. It could turn deadly for US citizens left behind. I don’t care what the Taliban says, fight for our people until the job is done.”