Republicans lambasted Joe Biden for ‘going on vacation’ on Sunday as he remained silent on Afghanistan while the capital city of Kabul was overrun by the Taliban and the president hunkered down at Camp David.
‘First thing’s first, why is Joe Biden on vacation, why hasn’t his administration taken a single question? This is an embarrassment,’ Ohio Representative Jim Jordan told Fox News‘s Sunday Morning Futures.
The Republican congressman and Trump ally also tweeted on Sunday: ‘America’s in crisis. Afghanistan’s in chaos. Why’s Joe Biden on vacation?’
Biden sent out a statement on Saturday afternoon on the unfolding crisis – where he announced 5,000 troops would be deployed to help with evacuations and also blamed predecessor Donald Trump for the disastrous withdrawal.
Since then, the president has not released any written or verbal statements or remarks.
The White House did, however, tweet an image of Biden being briefed via video chat at Camp David on Sunday about the ongoing developments in Afghanistan.
‘This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul,’ the Sunday afternoon tweet read.
Republicans lashed out at Joe Biden for going on ‘vacation’ while the Taliban took over the majority of Afghanistan, including Kabul on Sunday
Senator Tom Cotton said Biden is ‘hiding’ and said he needs to ‘immediately address the nation’
Rep. Jim Jordan said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures: ‘Why is Joe Biden on vacation, why hasn’t his administration taken a single question? This is an embarrassment’
The House House did release an image of Biden on a briefing call at Camp David with the caption: ‘This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul’
Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik wrote of Biden: ‘America is in crisis. And Joe Biden is on vacation.’
‘No person who calls themselves the President of the United States should be on vacation while the world crumbles down around them. The dereliction of duty continues…’ Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert tweeted of Biden.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton accused Biden of ‘hiding’.
‘Why is Joe Biden in hiding?’ he questioned on Twitter. ‘He should immediately address the nation and answer for the catastrophic situation in Afghanistan. Conference calls between cabinet secretaries and senators don’t cut it in a crisis.’
The president and first lady Jill Biden departed for Camp David on Friday where they will remain until Wednesday.
Historically, the military installation in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. has been used for both work and relaxation retreats by U.S. presidents. The facilities are fully equipped with secure video-conferencing technology.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden ‘likes Camp David.’
‘It’s a place to be outside, spend time with family and certainly has beautiful, beautiful scenery there,’ she said.
Rep. Jim Banks referenced the lawmaker briefing call with Biden military officials on Sunday, claiming it made it clear they were unprepared for the swift Taliban takeover
Senators and members of the House were briefed on calls Sunday about the situation in Afghanistan.
Republican representatives, however, lamented that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked them from asking questions to Biden’s top military officials. They also said it was telling that the officials and Biden did not anticipate such a swift takeover by the Taliban.
‘On the conference call briefing for members of Congress with Biden officials. It’s clear the Biden administration was caught unprepared, didn’t anticipate this catastrophe and the President is hiding & asleep at the wheel,’ Congressman Jim Banks tweeted on Sunday.
By Sunday – and in just over a week – the Taliban was able to take control of 28 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and breached the capital city of Kabul.
The U.S. Embassy needed evacuation by helicopter and the American flag on the compound was lowered on Sunday.
Still, the president remained radio silent.
On Saturday evening, Biden passed the buck to his predecessor, claiming that Trump ‘left the Taliban in the strongest military position’ since the U.S. invaded two decades ago.
‘When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces,’ Biden wrote in a statement Saturday.
‘Shortly before he left office, he also drew US forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500,’ the president continued in blaming former President Trump for the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan. ‘Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our forces and our allies’ forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict.’
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden left for Camp David on Frida (pictured) where they will remain until Wednesday. The military base retreat has been used by presidents for work and leisure getaways. Biden ‘likes Camp David’, according to press secretary Jen Psaki
Biden wrote a statement from Camp David on Saturday afternoon where he blamed Donald Trump for ‘leaving the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001’. He has remained silent since then
Biden vowed he would not pass on the war in the Middle East to whoever is president after him.
‘I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan — two Republicans, two Democrats,’ he continued. ‘I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.’
Trump immediately fired back at Biden in his own email statement on Saturday claiming that due to the current administration’s actions, the Taliban don’t fear or respect America.
‘Joe Biden gets it wrong every time on foreign policy, and many other issues,’ he wrote. ‘Everyone knew he couldn’t handle the pressure.’
‘He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him—a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America,’ the former president continued.
‘The withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground,’ Trump said of the deal he made in 2019 with leaders of the Taliban. ‘After I took out ISIS, I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone.’
‘The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America’s power,’ he said. ‘What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul.’
‘This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence.’