Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby admitted Friday that some Americans were having trouble moving through Taliban-controlled checkpoints in Afghanistan, contradicting what President Joe Biden told the nation less than two hours before.
Asked why the U.S. appeared not to be undertaking rescue and retrieval missions to help Americans reach the Kabul airport, as Britain and France appeared to be doing for their citizens, Kirby acknowledged reports of Americans in trouble.
“I would also note, though … that though there have been sporadic reports of some Americans not being able to get through checkpoints — I fully admit that — by and large, what we’ve been seeing is that Americans are able to get through those checkpoints, and are able to get onto the airfield,” Kirby said.
Earlier, answering questions from reporters at the White House after a nationwide address, Biden had said, “We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get in Kabul, through the airport.” Later, the president walked back that remark, saying that some Americans might be having trouble getting into the airport in Kabul, but he claimed: “To the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through people showing American passports.”
Kirby said that there would be additional security risks if the U.S. were to move troops outside the airport to establish a more secure perimeter, though in one instance they had gone outside to rescue 169 people.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.