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Joe Biden got in a tense exchange with ‘interesting’ Peter Doocy of Fox News as the president once again took on the Trump administration for negotiating a deal with the Taliban that he said boxed in his options.
Biden went off a pre-planned list of reporters he said he was ‘instructed to call on’ following his remarks on the situation in Afghanistan and the terror attack that resulted in the deaths of 13 service members Thursday.
After working his way through a list, Biden opted to select ‘the most interesting guy that I know in the press’ as one of just six reporters he called on, Doocy, who also followed Biden on the campaign trail.
‘There had not been a U.S. service member killed in combat since February of 2020,’ Doocy told him. ‘You set a deadline, you pulled troops out, you sent troops back in, and now 12 marines are dead,’ he said, at a time when the Pentagon had confirmed a lower figure.
‘You said the buck sops with you. Do you bear any responsibility for the way things have unfolded the last two weeks?’
President Joe Biden bowed his head as he listened to a question from Steve Doocy of Fox News as he took questions after giving an update on the situation in Afghanistan and the deaths of 12 servicemembers
Doocy asked Biden if he bore responsibility for what happened, given that he ordered the troop withdrawal.
‘I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that’s happened of late,’ Biden responded – before pointing to the deal the U.S. made with the Taliban for a May 1 departure of all U.S. troops.
‘You know – I wish one day you’d say these things,’ he told Doocy. ‘You know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1. In return a commitment was made that was a year before … the Taliban continue to attack others but would not attack any American forces.’
‘Remember that?’ he asked his interlocutor. ‘I’m being serious. I’m asking you a question,’ he told Doocy.
‘Is that accurate, yes or no,’ Biden said, trying to get Doocy to commit to an answer.
Biden got in a tense exchange with Steve Doocy of Fox News
‘You know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1,’ Bide told Doocy. Here Trump Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with the Taliban political affairs chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha, Qatar, on September 12, 2020
The talks resulted in the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, as the U.S. committed to withdrawal by a date certain
Former President Trump has blasted Biden’s handling of Afghanistan as incompetent. Trump brought troops down to 2,500 after negotiating a departure date. ‘I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11 as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan for two reasons,’ Trump wrote in April. ‘First, we can and should get out earlier’
Thursday’s terror attack, which Biden attributed to ISIS-K, now poses a major political and military challenge
When Doocy pushed back and questioned him, Biden bowed his head in obvious frustration.
Doocy instead asked about critics of the policy. ‘I think they have an issue that people are likely to get hurt. Some as we’ve seen have gotten killed, and that it is messy.’
‘The reason why, whether my friend will acknowledge it or has reported it, the reason why there were no attacks on Americans … was because a commitment was made by President Trump: I will be out by May 1. IN the meantime you agree not to attack any American. That was the deal. That’s why no American was attacked.’
Biden said after more back-and-forth that he stood by his decision to pull out.
‘Imagine where we’d be if I had indicated on May the first that I was not going to renegotiate an evacuation date, we were going to stay there,’ he said.
‘I’d have only one alternative: to pour thousands of troops back into Afghanistan to fight a war that we have already won relative to the reason why we went in the first place.’