In a widely-panned interview with ABC News personality George Stephanopoulous on Wednesday, Joe Biden insisted there was no better way for the U.S. to get out of Afghanistan.
Biden made this comment as live reports from inside Afghanistan were detailing the Taliban's brutal pursuit, beatings, and in some cases executions, of those deemed friendly to the West; the terror group's taking young girls and forcing them into marriage and sex slavery; and the ongoing desperation faced by U.S. citizens who are trapped in the country.
Which leads to the central questions: How much longer are the people writing Team Biden talking points going to leave Joe in office? Has the decision already been made to make his vacation permanent? And who are these people?
Following the Wednesday interview with the Biden administration ally and Clinton administration flack Stephanopoulous, Team Biden called a lid on any press availability for Thursday.
Which is all fine and dandy for the (state) media who would rather be joining their guy for ice cream cones. After all it's late August when the well-heeled set are on vacation.
Stephanopoulos did ask Biden if he thought the withdrawal could have been "handled better in any way."
Biden responded: "No. I don’t think it could’ve been handled in a way that — we’re going to go back in hindsight and look but the idea that somehow there was a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens."
"So for you, that was always priced in the decision?" Stephanopoulos said.
"Yes," Biden answered.
Commentary associate editor Noah Rothman said: "This is a presidency-defining clip. And it’s really bad."
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted: "This is such a slap in the face to the thousands of Americans still in Afghanistan. He had no plan, he has no urgency, and he won’t take responsibility. #Shameful."
British TV personality Piers Morgan said: "Biden's failure to even admit to his catastrophic mistake, when the whole world has watched the disaster unfurl on live TV, is both breathtakingly arrogant & disturbingly delusional. He either doesn't care or is in denial."
Other than the ABC News interview, Biden has not taken any questions from the (actual) press this week.
Matt Whitlock, former National Republican Senatorial Committee adviser, tweeted: “Outrageous optics for Biden to do a friendly interview with former Democrat staffer George Stephanopoulos but not take questions from the press.”
The Patriot Editor said that even though Biden declined to answer questions earlier from reporters, “Biden had sat down earlier with George Stephanopoulos. Good ol’ reliable George. Biden needed a lap dog, and there are few more obedient.”
Former Trump administration official Richard Grenell faulted Stephanopoulos for failing to press Biden on his response to photos showing hundreds of Afghanis crammed into a U.S. C-17 transport airplane — and some falling from the airborne plane’s exterior — after the Taliban took over Kabul.
“We’ve seen those hundreds of people packed into a C-17. We’ve seen Afghans falling …,” said Stephanopoulos.
Biden interrupted, saying: “That was four days ago, five days ago.” In Joe's head, that is. In reality, it was two days before the interview.
According to the ABC News video, Stephanopoulos followed up with, “What did you think when you first saw those pictures?”
Grenell tweeted that Stephanopoulos “let Joe Biden get away with saying the C17 liftoff was ‘4 or 5 days ago’. It wasn’t. And it doesn’t matter when it was. Stephanopoulos is an activist Democrat.”
And Joe Biden had a vacation to resume.
Meanwhile, this was happening in Afghanistan:
An Afghan man sent me this video which he said was raked outside Kabul airport today. How are Americans and Afghans supposed to get through this? pic.twitter.com/PjRTvof5p5— Jeff Schogol (@JeffSchogol) August 19, 2021