White House communications director Kate Bedingfield faced tough questions from news anchors Friday morning regarding President Joe Biden’s handling of the crisis in Afghanistan.
During Friday’s broadcast of “New Day,” CNN’s Brianna Keilar told Bedingfield that she is hearing her say that the Biden administration is “prepared to leave people behind.” Bedingfield replied, “We are doing everything we can to get as many people out as want to get out before the August 31 deadline.”
CNN’s Brianna Keilar confronts White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield: “You are prepared to leave people behind” pic.twitter.com/39PrbaqPtY
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Keilar also asked how the U.S. sees “its moral obligation” to Afghan interpreters who worked with Americans and saved the lives of citizens and service members. Bedingfield said that Biden “does feel a moral obligation” to “work and help get out” people who assisted the U.S.
“You’ll work to get them out, but this isn’t horseshoes. Close doesn’t matter. Will you get them out?” Keiler responded. Bedingfield said that Biden is working to make the process for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) more condensed and has committed to getting every American out of Afghanistan.
“The president has committed, we will get every American who wants to get out, out of Afghanistan, and we are working to move as many of our allies who helped us, who stood by us, who helped our servicemen and women, get out as possible,” she said. “And I would note that when he came into office, he moved to condense the Visa process for SIV’s, this has been a priority for him, to try to move people out of the country who helped us over the last 20 years.”
CNN’s Brianna Keilar calls WH Comms Director Kate Bedingfield out on her spin about getting stranded Americans out of Afghanistan:
“You’ll work to get them out, but this isn’t horseshoes. Close doesn’t matter.” pic.twitter.com/UOycqxSWOx
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) August 20, 2021
During Friday morning’s episode of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Willie Geist looked stunned when Bedingfield claimed that “the president never shies away from taking questions.” (RELATED: ‘Evacuation Started Too Late’: Critics Pan Biden’s Slow Response To Afghan Interpreters In Grave Danger)
“The White House Press Crops and the American people have a lot of direct questions for him, will he take those today?” Geist asked.
“The president never shies away from taking questions, I’ll let him make a decision if he’s going to take questions this afternoon,” Bedingfield responded. “But you saw he just did a full sit-down interview on this just yesterday, so he is always willing to take questions.”
White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield on Pres. Biden’s lack of transparency during Afghanistan situation:
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“Isn’t what we’re seeing now play out, the chaos at the airport and the fact that American troops had to go back into the country, doesn’t that make the case for having stayed long enough to get the people out first?” Geist asked.
“It’s important to remember that at any point that we began a mass evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan, it was going to signal the imminent collapse of the Afghan government,” Bedingfield responded. “It was going to be a chaotic situation whether it happened five months ago, five weeks ago, or this week.”
Geist also asked how Biden got the situation “so wrong.”
“On July 8th, President Biden as you know said a Taliban takeover of the country is not inevitable, he called it highly unlikely,” Geist said. “How did he get that so wrong as the Taliban rolled across the country in the span of eight or nine days?”
“He was talking about whether this was a possibility and not an inevitability,” the communications director said. “As we’ve seen in all the reporting the last week, the president saw a wide array of intelligence … they saw no intelligence that suggested that Kabul would fall within 11 days.”