Jen Psaki forced to cut her family vacation short to help address the Afghan chaos and brief the press today – while Biden stays at Camp David
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki was forced to cut her planned family vacation short
- She returned to work Monday as President Joe Biden returned for several hours from Camp David to address the American people on Afghanistan
- Psaki will brief the press Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. alongside National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
- Her original out-of-office message said she would be gone through Sunday
She’ll brief reporters Tuesday afternoon at 1:30, alongside National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as the crisis continues to unfold.
Psaki had planned to take this week off, with her automated out-of-office reply saying she would return on August 22, when reporters tried asking her questions about Afghanistan over the weekend.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was forced to cut her planned family vacation short, returning to work Monday as President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Afghanistan. She’s photographed watching the president’s address Monday afternoon
President Joe Biden returned to the White House several hours on Monday from Camp David to address the American people on the situation unfolding in Afghanistan as the Taliban has taken control of the country
The Washington Post reported that Psaki had returned to the White House Monday to help manage the Afghanistan situation.
The Post reported that the mood inside the White House was ‘grim.’
Biden was originally supposed to stay at Camp David through Wednesday, according to a schedule released by the White House Friday.
The Post cited a foreign policy ally who said Biden’s team would have never let him travel to Camp David had they anticipated the Taliban would take over Afghanistan so quickly.
The rapid collapse forced Biden to leave Camp David for several hours Monday to fly back to the White House to address the American people.
He then returned to Camp David, where he remained Tuesday.
Biden doubled down on his decision to pull the remaining U.S. troops out of Afghanistan after a 20-year war.
‘I stand squarely behind my decision,’ Biden said. ‘After 20 years I’ve learned the hard way. That there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. That’s why we’re still there.’
‘So I’m left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war, when Afghan troops will not?’ Biden asked.
‘How many more lives, American lives is it worth? How many endless rows of head stones at Arlington National Cemetery?’ he continued. ‘I’m clear in my answer: I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States.’
‘Of doubling down on a civil war in a foreign country. Of attempting to remake a country through the endless military deployments of U.S. forces,’ the president added.
Biden left without taking questions.
He’ll be out of earshot from reporters until at least Wednesday.
After Biden’s address on Monday, he headed straight back to Camp David. He will not face any reporters until at least Wednesday
Taliban fighters are now controlling the entry to the airport and have seized all of the access points leading to it in Kabul. It forces NATO troops to rely on them to allow evacuees into the airport to board flights
AMERICA’S IN THE AFGHANISTAN CRISIS AT A GLANCE
Between 15,000 and 40,000 American citizens waiting to be evacuated
Former Asst. Secretary Robert Charles said on Tuesday morning that the F77 – which keeps a count of all of a country’s citizens in one country – was between 15,000 and 40,000 in Afghanistan and many of the people are in remote areas
22,000 Afghan refugees to be rescued
John Kirby says the US is prepared to take 22,000 Afghan refugees who will be housed temporarily at military bases in Texas and Wisconsin
It’s unclear how many will actually get out and when because all have to apply for Special Interest Visas first
5,000-9,000 to be removed per day on one plane per hour
Defense officials claimed that will be the rate of evacuation but so far on Tuesday, not a single US flight has been seen leaving Kabul airport
Two week ‘grace period’
The Taliban has said it will allow US forces to remove its citizens in the next two weeks but there’s no telling if and when the terror group may rescind its promise of peace