White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied Monday that Americans are stranded in Afghanistan despite national security officials stating Americans aren’t able to make it out to Kabul’s airport for evacuation.
“Does the president have the sense that most of the criticism is not of leaving Afghanistan, it’s the way that he has ordered it to happen by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded,” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki. “Does he have a sense of that?”
Psaki shot back, denying that Americans were “stranded.”
“First of all, I think it is irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not,” she said. “We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home. We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home.”
“There are no Americans stranded is the White House’s official position on what is happening in Afghanistan?” Doocy asked.
Psaki says “no Americans are stranded” in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/llLYD2m7ds
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“I’m just calling you out for saying we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan, when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home, we are going to bring them home, and I think that’s important for the American public to hear and understand.”
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said that “several thousand Americans” are still in Afghanistan, according to Fox News.
Americans in Afghanistan have also been told over recent days to “shelter in place” rather than attempt to travel to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. The Taliban have reportedly been beating several evacuees at the airport. (RELATED: Biden Admin’s Primary Focus Right Now Is ‘Evacuating American Citizens’: VP Harris)
It is unclear whether the White House will be able to evacuate all Americans and Afghans before the Aug. 31 deadline. A spokesperson for the Taliban told Sky News the terrorist organization will not accept President Joe Biden’s potential withdrawal extension.
“If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations – the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction,” Taliban spokesperson Dr. Suhail Shaheen said.