White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday criticized Republican lawmakers who called on President Joe Biden to resign after multiple explosions at the Kabul airport killed 13 US troops and as many as 60 Afghans.
She said this was “not a day for politics,” but to honor the lives of the deceased servicemen.
“First I would like to say that this is a day when American servicemen – 12 of them – lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. It’s not a day for politics,” she said at her press conference.
“We would expect every American, elected or not, to support us and our commitment to go after those terrorists, fight and kill them wherever they live, and to honor the memory of military personnel.” and that’s what this day is. before,” she added.
After Psaki’s briefing, the Pentagon confirmed a 13th death.
Psaki was specifically asked about two Republican senators — Missouri’s Josh Hawley and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn — but other GOP lawmakers have also called on Biden to leave the Oval Office.
Joe Biden has now overseen the deadliest day for US troops in Afghanistan in more than a decade, and the crisis is getting worse by the hour. We must reject the lie propagated by a gullible president that this was the only option to withdraw. This is the product of Joe Biden’s catastrophic failure of leadership. It is now painfully clear that he has neither the will nor the ability to lead. He must resign,” Hawley said in a statement.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki criticized Republican lawmakers who called on President Joe Biden to step down, saying it was not a day for politics
Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley Called on Biden to Resign; Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn went a step further, calling on Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other members of the government to quit
Blackburn went one step further, calling on Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, to resign as well.
The deaths of US military personnel are a direct result of Biden’s weak leadership and failed withdrawal. America must trust our leaders and we can no longer trust the Biden administration,” she said.
Neither the president nor any of his associates intend to resign. But criticism of Biden’s approach to Afghanistan is mounting as his rating falls.
Meanwhile, Biden pledged Thursday to track down and destroy the terrorists who killed US military personnel and Afghans in the double suicide bombing at Kabul airport.
He paid tribute to the “selfless heroes” who died to save vulnerable people, but issued a stern warning to those responsible.
“For those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wants to harm America, know this: We will not forgive, we will not forget,” he said in a White House speech.
“We’ll hunt you down and make you pay.”
He also reiterated that he stands by his decision to withdraw the troops by August 31 – and said this will not change in light of recent events.
President Biden promised to track down and destroy the ISIS-K terrorists behind Thursday’s double suicide bombing in Kabul, during an emotional speech in the East Room of the White House.
An ISIS-K suicide bomber blew himself up amid swarms of people outside the airport on Thursday, killing 13 US servicemen, according to the Pentagon
Members of the Republican Congressional leadership sharply criticized Biden for his handling of the situation in Afghanistan, but did not call for his resignation.
“Joe Biden has blood on his hands,” New York Representative Elise Stefanik – a member of the House leadership team – wrote on Twitter. “The buck stops at the President of the United States. This horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is the sole result of Joe Biden’s weak and incompetent leadership. He is unfit to be Commander in Chief.’
“Terrible things happen when terrorists are allowed to operate freely,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “This murderous attack is a clear reminder that terrorists will not stop fighting the United States just because our politicians get tired of fighting them.”
Former President Donald Trump, who has openly and harshly criticized Biden’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan, issued a statement expressing his condolences to the fallen troops and Afghans, but did not name his successor.
“Melania and I extend our deepest condolences to the families of our brilliant Service Members whose duty to the US meant so much to them,” Trump said. “Our thoughts are also with the families of the innocent civilians who died in the savage attack in Kabul today.”
“This tragedy should never have happened, making our grief even deeper and harder to understand,” Trump continued.
Some of the Republicans calling for Biden to step down are potential rivals of his in 2024. Nikki Haley, a US ambassador to the UN under Donald Trump, watches a flight to the White House. She called on Biden to resign.
Should Biden resign or be removed for his handling of Afghanistan? Yes,” Haley tweeted. “But that would leave us with Kamala Harris, which would be ten times worse. God help us.’
And Senator Lindsey Graham urged the government to recapture Bagram Air Force Base.
‘It’s not a capacity issue, it’s a will issue,’ Lindsey Graham said above of retaking Bagram
“I have argued for days for the reopening of Bagram Air Base as Kabul Airport is very difficult to defend and is the only evacuation option,” the South Carolina Republican wrote on Twitter.
“We have the opportunity to re-establish our presence in Bagram to continue evacuating American civilians and our Afghan allies. The biggest mistake in this debacle is leaving Bagram.’
“I urge the Biden administration to restore our presence in Bagram as an alternative to the Kabul airport, so that we do not leave our fellow citizens and thousands of Afghan allies behind. It’s not a capacity problem, it’s a will problem,” Graham said.
“Retaking Bagram would put our military in jeopardy, but I think those involved in the operation would gladly accept that risk because it would restore our honor as a nation and save lives.”
In the attack in Kabul, the first bomber was searched by troops when it detonated a suicide vest. The second was a car bomb attack. It’s unclear how the first bomber got through Taliban checkpoints and close enough to the Marines to kill them.
The death toll is said to be the highest in a single incident in Afghanistan since 30 people were killed when a helicopter was shot down in 2011.
In a statement, the Islamic State claimed responsibility, saying that one of its suicide bombers had attacked “US military translators and employees.”
General Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of CentCom, promised that… evacuation efforts would continue despite the growing threat from ISIS and said he would “pursue” those responsible for the blast.