National Security

Psaki Claims Administration Doesn’t ‘Trust The Taliban.’ Reports Say Officials Gave Taliban Names Of Americans, Allies

Screenshot via Fox News

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed Friday that the Biden administration does not “trust the Taliban” despite widespread coordination with the group.

The Taliban controls the area surrounding Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), from where the U.S. is conducting evacuations. American officials have reportedly shared intelligence on terrorist attacks with the Taliban, which has conducted suicide bombings against American troops in the past. In addition, intelligence and embassy officials reportedly shared the names of Americans and Afghans the U.S. expects the Taliban to allow into HKIA, despite reports of Taliban reprisals against U.S. allies outside of Kabul.

Despite the claimed lack of trust, Psaki said that the U.S. will “need to coordinate with the Taliban… in order to continue to evacuate any American citizen who was not yet prepared to leave, who wants to leave, third country nationals and Afghans with visas” past the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline the Biden administration has set.

“I won’t get into a semantic debate,” she continued. “This is not about trust. But there is a reality on the ground. And the reality is the Taliban control large swaths 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, to get our Afghan partners out, to get the individuals eligible for the range of programs the U.S. has out. And we have now evacuated more than 105,000 people, in large part as a result of those coordinated efforts of getting people out.”

The Taliban has set up roadblocks around HKIA, and has reportedly harassed American citizens and visa and green card holders attempting to reach the airport. (RELATED: Taliban Reportedly ‘Beating And Harassing Evacuees, Scaring Many Off’)

President Joe Biden did not deny a report from Politico claiming that American officials gave a list of names of people the U.S. expects to be allowed into HKIA. One defense official reportedly described it as a “kill list.”

“The Taliban are not letting those Afghans through the checkpoints, I fear what we’ve done is hand them a kill list and a hit list,” retired Army captain Matt Zeller told CNN on Friday.