“The Five” co-host Jesse Watters chastised the White House on Monday for the muddled messaging surrounding President Biden’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as U.S. citizens and allies remain trapped in the troubled Central Asian country.
Watters comments came after White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted during a press briefing that Americans “are not” stranded in Kabul and that the White House is “committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home.”
“Stranded means if you want to leave somewhere and you can’t,” Watters fired back. “Do you think Americans can just go to the Kabul airport and take up on the next flight? They can’t, they are stranded and I don’t know why she is arguing about the word.”
Watters said the White House’s flailing attempt to control the messaging despite a spiraling situation in Afghanistan is reminiscent of their hesitancy to label the surge of migrants on the U.S. southern border, “a crisis.”
“They are worried about messaging,” he said. “At first it was ‘things are going great,’ and now it’s, ‘It was always going to be a mess.’ Or, ‘We planned for this,’ and then, ‘Oh, no one could have planned for this.’ Or, ‘People are clinging from the wings of airplanes – oh, that was four days ago…’ now, it’s ‘Oh, my heart breaks for these people.’ “Get to the airport and you will get out as soon as you can… Actually, no, don’t go to the airport now, elevated terror threats,” Watters went on.
The White House is now engaged in a “game of chicken” with the Taliban, he said, warning: “We don’t know what they are capable of.”
“We’ve seen the reports from the airport: 20 casualties, firing bullets into a crowd, women getting their teeth knocked out, American passports being torn up, Americans being beaten,” Watters said.
“That’s how it is. You can’t have a plan like this where you are at the mercy of a terrorist organization, Biden stranded Americans in a war zone and then tried to go back on vacation…” he told viewers, before adding, “Can you imagine any other president trying to pull that off? Create a humanitarian crisis, arm the enemy, and try to go back on vacation?”
Co-host Jessica Tarlov agreed that the White House’s misleading messaging has become “serious for the administration.”
“They obviously know it’s incredibly serious,” she said, noting that the number of public briefings has increased “tenfold from where we were last week.”
“The dichotomy between what you are hearing [from the White House] and the images [from the ground in Afghanistan] is something that is really hard to take, especially when you see a 2-year-old trampled,” Tarlov said. “Those are things that you can’t unsee in your life.”