CNN’s Jeff Zeleny said on Friday on “Newsroom” that President Joe Biden was “more in command” than he has been on the chaotic withdrawal as the Taliban takeovers Afghanistan during his earlier remarks.
Co-host Victor Blackwell said, “What did you make of the tone, and did he accomplish the goal that he was set out to accomplish today?”
Zeleny said, “Victor, I think there’s no question that President Biden was more in command of this chaos in Afghanistan than we have seen him really for more than a week, publicly. He said very clearly, any American who wants to come home will be able to come home and then authorized, saying he will use any resources necessary and left the door open to the possibility of staying beyond his self-imposed deadline, and actually left several other spaces open for command decisions on the ground there.”
He continued, “So perhaps more has been gone on than the military leaders have left us to believe. But for the president’s point of view, one goal I’ve been told by White House officials was to try and get off his heels, if you will, to try and get on offense and show that they are indeed in control of this. But he also said at the outset that this is still a very dangerous operation. He made that very clear and with an uncertain ending.”
Zeleny added, “So, without question, this is a president that we’ve really not seen for the last several days. He’s refused a couple of different times to take questions on this, so again, trying to at least reset the conversation, and he did say there will be time for second-guessing later. And, of course, there will be. But by standing there in the East Room with, of course, his vice president, but as well, his top Pentagon commander, Secretary Lloyd Austin, as well as the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, making clear that he does have their full confidence and their support, so that was all by design to show that this president is indeed in charge of this.”
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