President Joe Biden refused to answer questions about Afghanistan, just two days before the August 31 withdrawal date, during a press conference about Hurricane Ida at FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center on Sunday.
“I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead,” Biden said, calling on senior White House reporter for Bloomberg News Jennifer Jacobs.
When Jacobs asked “if there’s still an acute risk at the Kabul airport,” Biden waved her off, collected his things, and started to walk away.
“I’m not gonna answer on Afghanistan now,” he said, rebuffing her question.
“I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead,” @POTUS told me at FEMA HQ. I asked if there's still an acute risk at the Kabul airport. “I’m not going to answer on Afghanistan,” he said. pic.twitter.com/fZ8WL9gfWI
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 29, 2021
Biden ignored the line of questioning just a few days before American troops are expected to fully withdraw from Afghanistan — and only a few days after suicide bombers killed more than 100 people, including 13 U.S. troops at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The president did release a statement on Saturday saying the Kabul airport could face more attacks before August 31.
“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” the statement reads. “Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”
The White House on Friday also walked back Biden’s promise that the United States government would evacuate any American who wanted to get out of Afghanistan.
More than once, Biden has walked away from reporters asking about Afghanistan. A day after the suicide bombings in Kabul, Biden again declined to answer reporters about the catastrophic withdrawal during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.