Psaki Won’t Discuss Leaked Biden Call With Ghani That Revealed He Knew Afghan Army Was Collapsing [VIDEO]

New York Post

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday refused to comment about the leaked phone call between President Biden and former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Psaki dodged questions from reporters about the July 23 call, in which Biden told the Afghan leader to change the “perception” about the fight against the Taliban, “whether it’s true or not.”

“I’m not going to get into private, diplomatic conversations or leaked transcripts of phone calls,” Psaki said at a White House briefing.

Instead, she maintained that the report was “consistent” with the administration’s past assertions that “no one anticipated … that the Taliban would be able to take over the country as quickly as they did or that the Afghan national security forces would fold as quickly as they did.”

“What the president conveyed publicly and certainly privately as well repeatedly to Afghan leaders is that it’s important that the leaders in Afghanistan do exactly that — lead, show the country they are ready to continue the fight,” Psaki insisted.

Asked if Biden had been trying to push a “false narrative” in the conversation with Ghani, Psaki said she wouldn’t “go into the details of a private conversation.” But she stressed that there was a “collapse in leadership” in the Afghan government long before Ghani fled the country.

A transcript of the call between the two leaders obtained by Reuters showed Biden could well have anticipated the Taliban was capable of completing its takeover of the country.

But neither Biden nor Ghani appeared aware of how quickly the country would fall to the insurgents, who three weeks later, on Aug. 15, stormed Kabul, prompting the Afghan leader to take off.

“We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows,” Biden vowed to Ghani.

During much of the roughly 14-minute conversation, Biden emphasized what he saw as Afghanistan’s “perception” problem.