Defense Secretary Austin contradicts Biden, says Americans beaten by Taliban trying to reach airport
Jennifer Griffin pushes back on Biden’s ‘alternate reality’ on Afghanistan evacuation
Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin says she couldn’t fact-check the president’s ‘misrepresentations’ of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan fast enough during his speech.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin contradicted President Biden on Friday, telling House lawmakers on a phone call that multiple Americans trying to reach the Kabul airport have been beaten by Taliban fighters, two lawmakers told Fox News.
Austin called the beatings “unacceptable,” a person on the phone call told Fox News. Austin’s remarks starkly contrasted with what Biden told reporters after his speech on Friday.
When asked about reports that some Americans were being blocked from reaching Hamid Karzai International Airport for evacuation, Biden denied that any Americans were having such trouble.
Austin’s comments, which were first reported by Politico, marked the second time that the Biden administration contradicted what Biden told the public in his speech Friday.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby conceded that al Qaeda does have a “presence” in Afghanistan, even though Biden said that the terrorist group is “done” in Afghanistan.
Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich contributed reporting
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