CNN’s lead Washington anchor Jake Tapper said Monday that in spite of White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s claims, Americans in Afghanistan probably did feel “stranded.”
Tapper spoke with Pentagon correspondent Oren Lieberman on “The Lead” and said that, while he understood the White House doing everything possible to reassure Americans that they would be evacuated, there might also be complications on the ground. (RELATED: ‘We Can Bomb The Taliban Back Into The Stone Age’: Lara Logan Says Biden Administration Should Stop ‘Bowing To A Terrorist Group’)
Tapper began with a clip from Psaki’s press briefing, during which she told Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy that it was “irresponsible to say Americans are stranded.”
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Psaki went on to say that the White House and the State Department were working to make sure that anyone who wanted to leave Afghanistan could do so safely.
“We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home. I’m just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home,” she said. “We are going to bring them home.”
Tapper responded by backing Doocy’s assessment of the situation, saying that while he knew the White House was working hard to make sure that Americans could get home, those on the ground could still feel as though they had been stranded.
“Look, I understand that people are working long hours in the White House, the National Security Council, State Department, Pentagon and over in Kabul to get Americans out of that country. And I understand the White House wanting to reassure the nation that all Americans will ultimately be evacuated. But there are, no doubt, Americans who feel stranded in Afghanistan right now,” Tapper said.
Lieberman agreed, adding that Psaki seemed to be “parsing words” with regard to what it meant to be “stranded.”
“Jen Psaki said if you want to get out, the U.S. will go to great lengths to get you out. But the Pentagon said that there have been Americans who are having trouble getting through Taliban checkpoints,” he explained, adding that Psaki was not addressing the fact that Americans were among those who were having trouble getting to the airport in order to be evacuated.