Vice President Kamala Harris gave President Biden credit for deciding to end the war in Afghanistan, even though members of the administration – including Biden himself – blamed former President Trump for having agreed to withdraw American troops.
As the United States struggles to evacuate the Americans and their allies from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country, Harris described the situation as the result of correct decision making by the current administration without mentioning the rapid victory of the Taliban.
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“Months ago President Joe Biden made the courageous and fair decision to end this war because we accomplished what we went there for,” Harris said in a speech in Singapore Monday. . She went on to say that the United States was “laser focused on the task at hand,” which she described as a “historic airlift that happened.[ing] in an incredibly difficult and dangerous environment. “
The positivity contrasted starkly with past comments in which the administration accused Trump of forcing Biden to step down by making a deal with the Taliban.
“When I came to power, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban,” Biden said Aug. 16, saying his choice was either to honor that deal or to fight back. .
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The day before, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also blamed Trump during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the press. “
“We inherited a deadline negotiated by the previous administration. That deadline was May 1 and the idea that we could have maintained the status quo beyond May 1 if the president had decided to stay, I thinks is fiction, ”Blinken said. The secretary went on to say that if Biden had chosen to stay in Afghanistan, “all gloves would have been taken off” and the United States “would have been at war again, with the Taliban attack our forces. “
The finger-pointing at Trump didn’t stop there. Last Tuesday, in response to a question about a report that one of the Taliban negotiators was released from Guantanamo Bay during a prisoner swap when Biden was vice president, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, switched to Trump.
“During the negotiations and previous commitments made under the Trump administration, thousands of people have been released,” Psaki said.
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Harris’s insistence that the pullout was the right move when officials also blame Trump for the situation is emblematic of the administration’s message on Afghanistan. Biden himself took both positions. Although he stressed that the Trump deal had an impact on the choice he had to make, he also said ABCIt’s George Stephanopoulos that he would have taken similar steps even without Trump’s deal.
“I would have tried to figure out how to withdraw these troops,” Biden said.