White House schedule in flux in aftermath of Kabul explosions
President Biden’s schedule on Thursday was in flux following the explosions around the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed multiple U.S. service members.
The president was scheduled to meet with Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, in the morning but the meeting was rescheduled for Friday after it was postponed without an update for a few hours.
The White House also canceled an afternoon meeting between the president and governors who have raised their hands to temporarily house or help resettle vulnerable Afghans. Additionally, both the briefing with White House press secretary Jen Psaki and the briefing with the White House COVID-19 response team and public health officials were postponed.
Biden met with his national security team before noon, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, as well as commanders on the ground in Afghanistan.
He will continue to be briefed on updates on the evolving situation in Afghanistan throughout the day, a White House official said.
The Pentagon confirmed service members had died on Thursday, marking the first U.S. deaths as part of the evacuation of the country.
“We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement. “A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack.”
Updated 2:38 p.m.