GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, an Afghanistan war veteran, said Biden and his team “continue to be dangerously divorced from reality.”
“How many firsthand accounts will it take to make them change their narrative?” Cotton, R-Ark., said in a statement to Fox News. “He should immediately authorize the military to stop this rolling humiliation, expand the perimeter at Kabul airport, and rescue Americans trapped behind enemy lines. We can’t entrust the American people’s safety to the word of the Taliban.”
Among Biden’s claims during a Friday afternoon news conference that were quickly debunked was his assertion that al Qaeda is “gone” from Afghanistan. Just minutes later, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that “there is an al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan,” though he said they don’t pose a significant threat to the homeland.
Biden also claimed he knows of “no circumstance” where American citizens were blocked from getting to the Kabul airport for evacuation, citing an existing agreement with the Taliban to allow safe passage.
“This is a lie,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., tweeted in response. “My office has received reports of Americans unable to enter the airport.”
Even Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, didn’t dispute reports that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers earlier that some Americans had been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul. Kirby said the Biden administration is “certainly mindful” of these “deeply troubling” reports and the U.S. has told the Taliban it’s “absolutely unacceptable.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Biden appears to be “willfully ignorant” of the facts.
“The evacuation process is a nightmare,” Tillis said in a statement.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer who lost sight in his right eye while serving in Afghanistan, said Biden told the American public “lies” when the reality is that U.S. citizens and their families aren’t being allowed to evacuate.
“It’s hard to sift through all the lies and half-truths in Biden’s incoherent speech,” Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, also pushed back on Biden’s claim that Americans have safe passage to the Kabul airport, saying his Texas constituents, including a woman and three small children, are still trapped.
“Biden is either a bald-faced liar or he has completely lost his mind,” Jackson said in a statement to Fox News. “Either way, Joe Biden must resign. He is a complete and utter failure!”
Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., also doubled down on her call for Biden to resign after his remarks Friday, saying Biden’s claims “raised more questions about his fitness to serve.” Tenney’s son is a Marine who served in Afghanistan.
“I am in touch with families and individuals in Afghanistan who have a better understanding of conditions on the ground than our Commander-in-Chief,” Tenney told Fox News. “He’s either willfully ignorant or just lying.”
Biden caught heat for claiming he’s seen “no questioning of our credibility from our allies around the world” over his handling of Afghanistan, even though British lawmakers openly condemned Biden’s handling of the collapse of Afghanistan earlier this week.
Sen. Joni Ernst, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, said Biden is trying to whitewash the facts.
“President Biden continues to shift blame, obscure facts, and whitewash a complete debacle,” Ernst tweeted.
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said Biden’s lack of understanding of the situation in Afghanistan is having severe consequences.
“The White House is divorced from reality and our citizens in Afghanistan and our allies are suffering for it,” Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel military college, told Fox News. “We need to get them out and we need to get them out now.”