Politics

Psaki Says ‘Clearly, Something Went Wrong’ When Pressed On Afghanistan Fallout By Reporter

(Screenshot/White House)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan Friday when reporters questioned the White House’s strategy for evacuation.

“As the Department of Defense said earlier today, clearly something went wrong here in the process,” Psaki said. “We don’t have additional information to suggest that it was intentional or anything along those lines, but clearly there was a break in the security process here.”

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Psaki was defending the Biden administration’s decision to work with the Taliban to provide security at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where a devastating terrorist attack by ISIS-K took the lives of 13 Americans and killed or injured hundreds of Afghans.

“I think it’s worth repeating, as often as I can, that we don’t trust the Taliban. This is not about trust. But there’s a reality on the ground,” Psaki added. “And the reality is the Taliban control large swathes of Afghanistan, including the area surrounding the perimeter of the airport. So by necessity, that is our option, to coordinate with, to get American citizens out.”

Psaki was asked by CNN’s Phil Mattingly if the coordination with the Taliban was the “best of bad options” given the circumstances on the ground, or the only option. (RELATED: Former Army Captain Accuses US Government Of Giving Taliban ‘A Kill List,’ Says A Courier Was Shot Moving US Citizens)

The Taliban condemned the deadly attack carried out by their enemies in ISIS-K, but also blamed the U.S. for the defensive lapse, claiming the attack took place in an area within American responsibility. The Taliban have had an outer perimeter of checkpoints around the immediate perimeter of the airport controlled by U.S. personnel.