White House Press Secretary “Absent” Biden Keeps Silence in Taliban, Afghanistan


President Joe Biden’s best spokesman is absent for a week as the president is silent about the Taliban overthrowing the Afghan government.

White House spokesman Jen Psaki said she was “absent” from August 15th to August 22nd, according to an automated email message she received earlier Monday in response to a question.

“In my absence,” Pusaki wrote, the questioner should contact other White House spokespersons, including Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Follow-up messages sent to other spokespersons did not respond.

Fox News first reported that Psaki was absent.

The Taliban seized Kabul’s presidential residence on Sunday after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country’s capital, Kabul.

Taliban officials have declared a dispute between terrorist groups and Afghan troops. The Taliban are ready to declare the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, high-ranking sources told The Epoch Times.

At the same time, the US embassy warned Americans in Kabul to “set up shelters” because the airport was reported to have fired from Taliban fighters. Video footage also showed that Afghans were attacking the airport in an attempt to board a plane departing the country.

The major developments that will come when the United States works domestically to complete its withdrawal 20 years later have not received public speeches from Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, or Pusaki.

Harris, The last person in the room Biden has not spoken publicly since August 10 when he chose to withdraw from Afghanistan. Saki, who normally holds a press conference every weekday, has not held a press conference since August 11. Biden went to Wilmington, Delaware, and then to camp David, Maryland, after speaking about prescription drug prices on August 12.

Biden did not ask any questions when leaving for Delaware or Camp David. He finally spoke in real time about Afghanistan on August 10 and did not regret telling reporters that the US withdrawal was a green light, and Afghan fighters “fighted for themselves, for the country.” I have to fight. “

In a written statement on Saturday, Biden contacted his national security team closely and gave instructions on “how to protect our interests and values ​​when ending a military mission in Afghanistan.” Said gave.

The president said he had approved the deployment of about 5,000 US troops to help evacuate Americans and allied personnel, as well as Afghans who supported the troops in the last few years.

He also told the Taliban that U.S. officials would “take a swift and powerful U.S. military response” if they acted to jeopardize U.S. personnel or U.S. missions.

He also defended the withdrawal of the United States by saying he faced choices when he became president: whether to continue trading with former president Donald Trumpcut with the Taliban or send more troops to Afghanistan.

“I was the fourth president to oversee the presence of the U.S. military in Afghanistan. I’m two Republicans and two Democrats. I won’t pass this war on one-fifth, and I won’t, “he said.

Epoch Times Photo
A US Chinook helicopter will fly over the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 15, 2021. (Rahmat Gul / AP photo)

On Sunday, the White House posted a photo of Biden alone in Camp David’s room and briefed with senior officials from other sites such as Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Harris, CIA officials, and the United States. An intelligence officer in Doha, Qatar.

“This morning, the President and Vice President met with national security teams and senior officials to hear the latest information on the withdrawal of civilians in Afghanistan, the evacuation of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul. “The White House said. SIV stands for Special Immigrant Visa.

The lack of a public speech about what Biden is doing has sparked criticism from some, including Republicans.

“I’m amazed at what’s missing-where is Pres Biden? How is he MIA during this generation of foreign policy crisis? We are humiliating, unforgivable, complete We have a leadership gap, especially in these impossible times, we need a leader who can stand up and count! ”Representative Peter Meyer (Republican) wrote on Twitter.

“President Biden owes the American people an explanation of why he led him from behind and allowed terrorists to win,” Senator Bill Hagerty (Republican) said in a statement.

The absence of Saki also attracted attention.

“We can’t see Biden, and emails to the White House spokesman will receive an absent reply,” Trump’s 2020 campaign communications director Tim Marteau said on social media.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared in a talk show on Sunday, pushing back criticism of the administration.

“In fact, we went to Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind. It was to deal with those who attacked in 9/11, and that mission was successful. We tried bin Laden 10 years ago. The group that attacked us, al-Qaeda, has dropped significantly. Currently, there is no ability to attack us again from Afghanistan. And I We will ensure that we maintain the capacity and power needed to identify and respond to the recurrence of the terrorist threat in the region, “he said.

Still, Blinken admitted that the Afghan army “proved that it could not protect the country.”

“And it happened earlier than we expected,” he said.

The Pentagon and State Department secured Kabul’s Hamazkarzai International Airport after abandoning the Bagram Air Force Base late Sunday to allow safe departures for U.S. and allied personnel, increasing the number of troops there by nearly 1,000. Said that.

“Tomorrow and in the coming days, we will deport thousands of American citizens residing in Afghanistan, locally hired staff and their families on US missions in Kabul, and other particularly vulnerable Afghan citizens. “I will.” Said the agency. “And accelerate the evacuation of thousands of Afghans eligible for US special immigrant visas, nearly 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the United States in the last two weeks. Security in all categories. Afghans who have cleared the screening will continue to be transferred directly to the United States and will find additional locations for those who have not yet been screened. “

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.