There may not be any job worse than working for President Joe Biden’s communications team.
Sure, scrubbing down port-a-potties or scraping roadkill off the highway would suck — but Biden’s communications staffers are presented almost daily with the near-Herculean task of cleaning up whatever the president said last; and that might be even worse.
For example, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield spent most of Friday morning trying to explain why Biden had taken a vacation while Afghanistan proverbially burned. He returned to the White House only to scold Republican governors for not forcing children to wear face masks in school and refused to take a single question on the chaos in Kabul.
In the wake of all that, Bedingfield argued that Biden “never shied away from taking questions,” prompting an understandably bewildered look from “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist. (RELATED: MSNBC Anchor Looks Visibly Perplexed When WH Comms Director Says Biden ‘Never Shies Away From Taking Questions’)
Biden said later that day that no American citizens had been kept from Kabul airport if they were attempting to board a plane and evacuate.
Joe Biden falsely says “no circumstance” where American citizens have been blocked from Kabul airport pic.twitter.com/6CYmU4inXE
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 20, 2021
But Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin admitted that the opposite was true.
Austin’s full quote on Taliban beatings during the House briefing, relayed to us by multiple sources:
“We’re also aware that some ppl including Americans have been harassed & even beaten by the Taliban. This is unacceptable & [we] made it clear to the designated Taliban leader.”
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) August 20, 2021
And CNN’s Clarissa Ward, who evacuated after reporting from the ground in Kabul for several days after the Taliban took over, also confirmed that getting out was not easy — or safe — for American citizens.
CNN’s @clarissaward contradicts Biden’s claim that Americans are not having difficulty getting to the airport:
“We had difficulty getting into the airport. Working out how to get to the airport is like a Rubik’s cube.” pic.twitter.com/naDGVUaZ9A
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 20, 2021
President Biden also claimed that al-Qaeda was “gone” from Afghanistan — a claimed that was contradicted almost immediately by the Pentagon.
Biden says al Qaeda is “gone” from Afghanistan. UN and US officials beg to disagree.
— Jonathan Landay (@JonathanLanday) August 20, 2021
A short time later, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin that although the U.S. did not have an exact number, officials were aware that both al-Qaeda and ISIS have a presence in Afghanistan.
GRIFFIN: “But the president just said that there’s no Al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan?” pic.twitter.com/VkjfFnOFmF
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 20, 2021
Biden also claimed he had not heard any negative comments or criticisms from allies concerning the withdrawal of American troops.
“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies from around the world. I’ve spoken with our NATO Allies”- President Biden
— HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) August 20, 2021
But veteran and Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat disagreed.
An extraordinary and moving speech from veteran MP Tom Tugendhat, with very harsh words for President Biden on Afghanistan
“To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, is shameful.” pic.twitter.com/ZgEEHwD9MI
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) August 18, 2021
The whole of Parliament voted to hold Biden in contempt.
President Biden “I’ve seen no criticism from allies” on Afghanistan. Telegraph: Parliament holds Joe Biden in contempt over Afghanistan https://t.co/Qd1AhZU0Rp
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) August 20, 2021
And even former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who often holds his tongue, spoke out about the “imbecilic” manner in which the withdrawal was executed.
Tony Blair has dramatically broken his silence over the crisis in Afghanistan by accusing President Joe Biden of an “imbecilic” decision to pull out US troops https://t.co/tSdfCirpxO
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 22, 2021
Biden’s latest flip came Tuesday, a week after he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that American troops would remain in place as long as there were American citizens on the ground in Afghanistan trying to get out.
But on Tuesday, amid threats from Taliban leadership, Biden said that the U.S. would abide by the Aug. 31 deadline to get troops out of Afghanistan.
From @LucasFoxNews at the Pentagon. “URGENT: President Biden has made the decision and will NOT extend Aug. 31 deadline in Afghanistan for US evacuations: U.S. official tells Fox News”
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) August 24, 2021
And if cleaning up Biden’s claims and flip-flops was not difficult enough, Vice President Kamala Harris is throwing around a few wild claims of her own. She told reporters in Singapore that the rushed exit from the U.S. embassy in Kabul was a “successful drawdown.”
Kamala Harris brags about the “successful drawdown of the embassy” when asked about the situation in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/OUo0xbd6Rc
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) August 23, 2021
Later that day, during a speech billed as a “major foreign policy” address, Harris discussed how the climate crisis could impact supply chains and shipping with regard to Christmas toys for children.
Clean up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, any takers?