Biden to address nation on Afghanistan ‘soon’
White House aides on Monday said President Biden will address the nation “soon” on the situation unfolding in Afghanistan, where the U.S. has dispatched thousands of troops to ensure the safe evacuation of U.S. personnel and civilian allies from the country.
Biden had no public events on his schedule Monday as Republicans in particular call on him to return from Camp David and address the nation over the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
“The president has been deeply engaged in all of the policy conversations and in the situation as it evolves in real time,” deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer told CNN.
“The president has spoken to this extensively and I expect that he will speak to it again soon,” Finer added when asked why Biden isn’t publicly speaking to the situation in real time.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told “Good Morning America” Biden would address the situation “soon” but that Biden’s “overriding focus” is on ensuring the evacuation mission is completed.
“At the right point, he will absolutely address the American people,” Sullivan said.
Biden traveled on Thursday to his home in Wilmington, Del., before departing Friday for Camp David. He is scheduled to stay at the presidential retreat in Maryland through Wednesday, but some lawmakers and former government officials have argued Biden should return to the White House or at minimum address the nation from Camp David given the fall of Afghanistan.
“Imperative for the President to speak to the nation and the world,” tweeted Robert Gibbs, a former press secretary for then-President Obama. “He must lay out again the reasoning behind his decisions, how he sees the future of this region & what must be done to prevent another safe haven for al-Qaeda to plan attacks.”
Videos and images circulated on Monday morning from Kabul, where the Taliban have overtaken Afghanistan’s capital and U.S. forces have struggled to conduct an orderly evacuation of American personnel from the airport there.
The U.S. in response deployed an additional 1,000 troops to help pull Americans and Afghan allies from the region, bringing the total number of authorized military personnel to roughly 6,000.
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