Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany found it unbelievable that the Biden administration would allow the Taliban to dictate the terms of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden reportedly will not extend the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw troops and evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the country.
NEW: The Taliban has met with our Sky News team in Doha & issued a stark warning about troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by 31st August:
“It’s a red line”
“If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction” pic.twitter.com/6nUUZFT91F
— SallyLockwood (@sallylockwood) August 23, 2021
McEnany tweeted in response to the president’s decision not to extend the deadline, “The Biden administration is not NEGOTIATING with the Taliban. The Taliban is DICTATING terms to the United States of America. The decision not to move the 8/31 deadline proves that. Wow…”
The Biden administration is not NEGOTIATING with the Taliban.
The Taliban is DICTATING terms to the United States of America.
The decision not to move the 8/31 deadline proves that. Wow…
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 24, 2021
“Can you believe this?! Biden reportedly commits to the TALIBAN’s dictated August 31st timeline for withdrawing… AFTER he PROMISED to leave no American behind. Even Schiff admits evacuating all Americans before 8/31 is ‘highly unlikely’!!!” she added in another tweet.
Can you believe this?!
Biden reportedly commits to the TALIBAN’s dictated August 31st timeline for withdrawing…
AFTER he PROMISED to leave no American behind. Even Schiff admits evacuating all Americans before 8/31 is “highly unlikely”!!!
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 24, 2021
The White House chief of staff under former President Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, tweeted there would be no set Aug. 31 deadline if the 45th president were still in charge.
“Joe Biden just caved to the Taliban’s August 31 deadline,” Meadows wrote.
“If President Trump were there, the ‘deadline’ would’ve been the day every single American is home — and not a second before. And you can bet there would’ve been repercussions for the Taliban otherwise,” he continued.
Joe Biden just caved to the Taliban’s August 31 deadline.
If President Trump were there, the ‘deadline’ would’ve been the day every single American is home—and not a second before. And you can bet there would’ve been repercussions for the Taliban otherwise.
— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) August 24, 2021
The Washington Post noted the Biden administration is not going on record regarding exactly how many Americans have been evacuated, beyond putting the figure in the thousands. It is also not confirming how many Americans remain in Afghanistan.
McEnany said on Monday’s Fox News program “Outnumbered” it is “scary” that the administration does not have these numbers. However, she did commend the Pentagon press corps for asking the right questions.
“But we’re not getting answers,” she said. “The only thing that we’ve learned out of all of this is that the Biden White House is really bad at numbers.”
“What a scary scenario when you have a White House without facts and an intelligence capacity that is diminished,” McEnany said.
Chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday the Aug. 31 deadline allows enough time to get all Americans out, but was less specific about whether all at-risk Afghans would be evacuated, according to The Associated Press.
About 21,600 evacuees left the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Tuesday, which is the highest number of any 24-hour period since the airlift began last week, the White House said.
“Thirty-seven U.S. military flights — 32 C-17s and 5 C-130s — carried about 12,700 evacuees. An additional 8,900 people flew out aboard 57 flights by U.S. allies,” the AP reported.
Pentagon says number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will go to ‘zero’ at Aug. 31 deadline. Unclear who will protect last Americans leaving. ‘There’s no question,’ Taliban will help complete evacuation, Kirby says. Months ago, plan was to keep 650 U.S. troops at U.S. Embassy Kabul.
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 24, 2021
In a Tuesday statement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden told G7 leaders during a virtual meeting “that our mission in Kabul will end based on the achievement of our objectives,” but also “confirmed we are currently on pace to finish by August 31st.”
“He also made clear that with each day of operations on the ground, we have added risk to our troops with increasing threats from ISIS-K, and that completion of the mission by August 31st depends on continued coordination with the Taliban, including continued access for evacuees to the airport,” Psaki added.
“In addition, the President has asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timeline should that become necessary.”
Biden directly stated the same information provided in Psaki’s news release in a speech given from the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
An NBC News poll, conducted from Aug. 14-17 among 1,000 adults and reporting a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, found 25 percent approve of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, and 60 percent disapprove.
Biden’s overall approval rating among Americans has fallen to 41 percent, with 55 percent disapproving, according to a newly released USA Today/Suffolk University poll.