EXCLUSIVE: Pressed on whether the U.S.'s exit from Afghanistan could have been handled better, Pres. Biden tells @GStephanopoulos, "The idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing—I don't know how that happens." https://t.co/iy02XgXkZ6 pic.twitter.com/Qn9d4dYS83
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 19, 2021
Biden snapped at Stephanopoulos for asking about Afghan people rushing a plane as it took off the runway in the airport in Kabul, some even falling to their deaths as it took off.
“That was four days ago, five days ago,” Biden replied sharply when asked about the images, trying to dismiss them entirely.
In fact, however, the incident occurred only two days ago, which Stephanopoulos did not press him on.
“No,” Biden said. “I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that, we’re gonna go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how that happened.”
The commander in chief has previously insisted his administration didn’t anticipate how quickly the Taliban would sweep through the country.
The extremist group took the capital of Kabul on Sunday, prompting scores of residents to mass at the international airport in an attempt to flee.
Thousands of Afghans filmed frantically chasing after and clinging to a US Army plane as it taxied down a runway at the airport Monday, and harrowing footage showed two people plunging to their deaths as the aircraft took off.
“So for you, that was always priced into the decision?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Yes,” Biden replied, but then amended his answer.
“Now exactly what happened, I’ve not priced in,” he said. “But I knew that they’re going to have an enormous — Look, one of the things we didn’t know is what the Taliban would do in terms of trying to keep people from getting out. What they would do. What are they doing now? They’re cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, et cetera, but they’re having — we’re having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there.”