Until today, Joe Biden had yet to hold a single press conference since the disastrous collapse of Afghanistan. With thousands of Americans and Afghan allies still trapped throughout the war-torn country in chaos, Biden was finally set to give remarks and answer questions. That came on the heels of an inexplicable decision some days ago to appear and only speak on COVID while not taking any questions.
Within minutes of the presser's original scheduled time, it was postponed.
The 1 pm remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan are not happening at 1… No new time announced by White House.
— Sebastian Smith (@SebastianAFP) August 20, 2021
Here's the thing. You can be late to or postpone a presser over an infrastructure bill or repeat yourself about COVID for the umpteenth time. But being late for a weeks-long overdue presser while Americans are trapped behind American lines is just unconscionable. It's a dereliction of duty and it's not normal.
Biden did finally speak, though, and what transpired only made matters worse. Instead of offering a coherent response to his failures, he made excuses, passed the buck, and flashed his patented anger as reporters pressed him for answers.
When asked about his assertion that the intelligence did not indicate a quick Taliban takeover, Biden had this to say.
Biden dismisses the State Department dissent cable, brushing it off as no big deal: "I have all kinds of cables. All kinds of advice." pic.twitter.com/QtdHmCpw6F
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 20, 2021
Then there was this excellent question which asked Biden why we should trust his assessment of Afghanistan now after he was so wrong about the Taliban's advance.
This question from Bloomberg's Justin Sink is better than Zeke's about how can Biden say a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan going forward won't pose a serious terrorism threat. pic.twitter.com/fRVv0iz17l
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 20, 2021
In the end, he only took four questions from far-left outlets and for the first time in his presidency, the anger in the room from the press was palpable. As Biden turned his back on the world again, shouts began to ring out from those in the rooms, heckling him for walking away.
In the aftermath, Jennifer Griffin of Fox News noted that there were so many lies in what Biden said that there wasn't enough time to fact-check them all in real-time.
Fox's @JenGriffinFNC responding to Biden's Afghanistan speech: "I couldn't fact check it fast enough because there are so many misrepresentations of what is happening on the ground."
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) August 20, 2021
For example, Biden claimed he has seen no criticism from our allies of how he withdrew from Afghanistan and the resulting disastrous situation. Further, the president went so far as to claim he had received praise from our allies. But that's flatly untrue. In fact, things are so bad that the UK Parliament held Joe Biden in contempt two days ago. The Germans have also expressed wide displeasure with how this went down and an EU leader called it a “catastrophe.” Our allies were left in the dark and now they are incensed and scrambling to save their people.
Has Biden just not been told about that criticism? I mean, we all assume he lives in a highly controlled bubble, but they couldn't have let him know he's been getting ripped by our allies before he told such an easily disproven lie?
Biden also said that Al Qaeda doesn't exist in Afghanistan anymore. That's a laughable claim that holds no basis in reality. His claims on the ability of Americans and Afghan allies to get to the airport in Kabul right now were false as well. Reports are that the Taliban are confiscating passports and beating people who try to get through. Biden acted completely unaware of those reports when confronted with them.
The President also brought up his deceased son (from cancer in 2015) Beau at least twice in ways that made no sense at all. You can tell Biden is using him as a kind of shield against press criticism, but it doesn't appear to be working.
Later, Biden would claim that things are essentially going well while proclaiming to “knock on wood,” as if that's a strategic measure a president should be relying on. The president took no responsibility for his awful decision-making and the fact that he was clearly caught with his pants down. He expressed confidence in the Taliban and did not provide any answers for Americans who can not make it to the airport.
Ultimately, he did not stick around long enough to get pressed further on the issue. At one point, he also forgot who his Secretary of Defense is. In short, we have no president.