Chris Wallace presses Blinken on apparent contradictory remarks from Biden
Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on statements from President Biden that appear to contradict reporting surrounding the evacuation of Afghans and U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
Speaking with Blinken on “Fox News Sunday,” Wallace pointed out that since the Taliban took Kabul, Biden has said there is no threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Wallace noted that reports from the United Nations have indicated that al Qaeda has a presence in at least 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
“Al Qaeda’s capacity to do what it did on 9/11, to attack us, to attack our partners our allies from Afghanistan, is vastly, vastly diminished,” Blinken said. “Are there al Qaeda members and remnants in Afghanistan? Yes, but what the president was referring to was its capacity to do what it did on 9/11, and that capacity has been successfully diminished.”
Wallace also pressed Blinken on Biden’s claim that no allies have criticized the U.S. for how its withdrawal has been handled, pointing to European leaders such as Tom Tugendhat, chairman of British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who have lambasted Biden’s remarks and actions in the withdrawal.
Wallace asked Blinken whether Biden is fully aware of what is occurring on the international front.
“Chris, all I can tell you is what I’ve heard. And, again, this is a powerful, emotional time for a lot of allies and partners, as it is for me, as it is for us,” Blinken replied. “But I’ve also heard of this, I’ve heard across the board, deep appreciation and thanks from allies and partners for everything that we’ve done to bring our allies and partners out of harm’s way.”
“There’s gonna be plenty of time to look back to figure out who was saying what when, what should have happened differently, plenty of time for that,” Blinken said after Wallace continued to press him on seemingly contradictory remarks coming from the White House.
Biden is facing a barrage of negative headlines and criticism from members of his own party about the fall of the Afghan government.
The Department of Defense announced on Sunday that it has ordered commercial airlines to provide passenger jets to aid with the evacuation of Kabul, one week after the Taliban entered the city.