Jen Psaki admits evacuation flights carrying US citizens out of Afghanistan are being BLOCKED by Biden administration because they are also carrying ‘hundreds of other people that they can’t identify’
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Biden administration is blocking some evacuation flights from landing on U.S. military bases
- Psaki got in a back-and-forth during the press briefing with Fox News’ Peter Doocy who had asked about charter flights carrying Americans
- ‘We’re not going to allow flights that have hundreds of people who we don’t know who they are,’ Psaki said
- She also told reporters at press briefing that ‘no one’ believes the Taliban are a ‘respected members of the global community’ She also
White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted Wednesday that the Biden administration has blocked evacuation flights out of Afghanistan because they don’t know the identities of all the people on board.
Psaki got in a back-and-forth during the press briefing with Fox News‘ Peter Doocy who had asked a series of questions about the U.S.’s relationship with the Taliban and about the charter flights carrying Americans trying to leave Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.
‘We’re not going to allow flights that have hundreds of people who we don’t know who they are, who haven’t been through security protocols, where we haven’t seen the manifests, to land on U.S. military bases,’ Psaki said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted Wednesday that ‘on one’ believes the Taliban are a ‘respected members of the global community’ in a back-and-forth with Fox News’ Peter Doocy
She confirmed reporting from Politico that said the Taliban had stopped flights from taking off to see paperwork from passengers and flight manifests because the State Department had indicated they wanted that vetting done.
‘So a number of these planes, they may have a handful of American citizens, but they may have several hundred individuals where we don’t have manifests for them, we don’t know what the security protocols are for them, we don’t know what their documentaton is,’ Psaki said.
‘And there is a fundamental question – and this is one of the hard choices you face in government – are we going to allow a plane with hundreds of people, we don’t know who they are, we don’t know what security protocols have put in place, to land on a U.S. military base?’ she asked.
During the briefing, Doocy also pointed out, ‘There are now more terrorists wanted by the FBI in the new Afghan government than there are women.’ ‘Does the president think that is a foreign policy success?’ he asked.
‘Well first of all, no one in this administration – not the president, nor anyone on the national security team – would suggest that the Taliban are respected and valued members of the global community,’ Psaki answered. ‘They have not earned that in any way.’
Taliban fighters gather along a street during a rally in Kabul last month. Psaki called the Taliban’s newly formed government a ‘caretaker cabinet that does include four former imprisoned Taliban fighters’
She called the Taliban’s newly formed government a ‘caretaker cabinet that does include four former imprisoned Taliban fighters.’
‘We have not validated that, we have not conveyed we are going to recongize that,’ she continued. ‘What we are working to do – and nor are we rushing to recognition, there is a lot they have to do before that. What we are working to do is to engage with them – because they oversee and control Afghanistan right now – to get American citizens, legal permanent residents and SIV applicants out of Afghanistan.’
Doocy pointed out that Sirajuddin Haqqani, the new acting interior minister, is wanted for questioning by the FBI for a 2008 hotel attack in Kabul, which killed six people, including an American citizen.
He asked why the U.S. was engaging with them.
‘Should we not talk to the people who are overseeing Afghanistan and just leave and not get the rest of the American citizens out?’ Psaki asked back.
Psaki added that the world was watching how the Taliban behaved – including if they allowed people depart the country who want to leave and how they treat women.
The press secretary noted how, so far, the Taliban has fallen short.
‘And therefore we are not moving toward recognition,’ she said.
‘At the same time, we’re dealing with a reality-world here. We have to engage to get American citizens and others out of the country,’ Psaki added.