President Joe Biden got frustrated with reporters Friday after he was asked a series of questions about the ongoing U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“I’m not going to answer any more questions on Afghanistan,” Biden said after a reporter attempted to ask him a fourth question about the situation there. “Look, it’s fourth of July. I’m concerned that you guys are asking me questions that I’ll answer next week, but on the holiday weekend I’m gonna celebrate it.”
“There’s great things happening. The economy is growing faster than any time in 40 years, we’ve got a record number of new jobs, COVID-19 deaths are down 90%, wages are up faster than any time in 15 years, we’re bringing our troops home,” he added. “All across America people are going to ballgames and doing good things… I’ll answer all your negative questions, not negative, your legitimate questions.”
Biden was initially asked if the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan would be completed within the next few days, to which he said no. Biden then addressed a question about his confidence level that Afghan government forces could resist an ongoing Taliban offensive.
“I think I met with the Afghan government here in the White House,” Biden said. “I think they have the capacity to be able to sustain a government… I am concerned that the deal with the internal issues that they have to be able to generate the kind of support they need nationwide to maintain the government.”
Biden pushed back when a reporter began to ask a third question about Afghanistan, saying “I want to talk about happy things man!” (RELATED: US Withdraws All Troops From Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base)
“We have worked out an over-the-horizon capacity that we can be value added, but the Afghans are gonna have to be able to do it themselves with the air force they have, which we’re helping to maintain.”
The Biden administration’s planned withdrawal from the country, which has had heavy U.S. military presence for 20 years, has come under scrutiny as the Taliban have increasingly taken over more government-controlled territory as American troops leave. (RELATED: Despite Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal, White House Reaffirms Mission To Defeat ISIS)
A full American withdrawal was initially negotiated by former President Donald Trump and set to be completed in May of this year. Biden has pushed the deadline back to Sep. 11, 2021, but it is widely expected that the drawdown will be completed before then.