‘Biden is like Jimmy Carter on acid’: Former View co-host Meghan McCain blasts president for the ‘shame, dishonor and embarrassment’ he has brought to America with his disastrous retreat from Afghanistan
- McCain accused Biden of ‘going into hiding’ following a disastrous interview
- She slammed Biden for ‘the greatest foreign policy catastrophe of my lifetime’
- She said the Biden administration has ‘blood on its hands and nobody will forget’
- Her fury is all the more stinging as she has previously expressed fondness for Biden who consoled her after the death of her father John McCain in 2018
Meghan McCain has said ‘Joe Biden is like Jimmy Carter on acid’ and accused the president of ‘going into hiding’ following a widely-panned interview on the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan.
Neither Biden nor White House press secretary Jen Psaki made any appearances on Thursday, leading to accusations that his administration had fled to a ‘bunker’ amid chaos in Kabul.
Former View co-host McCain last night gave a withering assessment of what she called ‘one of the greatest foreign policy catastrophes of my lifetime,’ saying that Biden had brought ‘shame, dishonor and embarrassment’ to America.
She shared footage of terrified Afghans fleeing gunfire at Kabul airport, writing that their ‘blood is on the hands of the Biden administration and no one will ever forgive or forget this.’
Her fury at the president is all the more stinging as she has previously expressed fondness for Biden who consoled her after the death of her father, Republican statesman John McCain.
In his woeful interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Wednesday, Joe Biden attempted to shift the blame and insisted there were not warnings of such a rapid fall to the Taliban
Meghan McCain, the 36-year-old daughter of the late Republican statesman John McCain, has previously expressed fondness for Biden who consoled her after the death of her father
Pandemonium unfolded at Kabul airport on Monday as thousands of people ran on to the runway in a desperate attempt to escape Taliban rule, fearing bloody reprisals by the Islamists
The 36-year-old tweeted: ‘No press briefings from the Biden White House from the President or his staff. They’re all on vacation.
‘He is like Jimmy Carter on acid and he and his team will be remembered in history worse than him. Also anyone in the press want to to jump in on criticism of him in hiding?’
She shared a video earlier of chaos on the runway at Kabul airport, tweeting: ‘Everyone in the Biden White House should be forced to watch this. These are consequences for your reckless, insane, plan-less actions. Are you proud of yourselves?!?’
At least 12 people have died at the airport since Sunday, including several despairing young men who fell to their deaths after clinging to the fuselage of a USAF jet.
McCain shared another video late Wednesday which showed a woman holding her terrified baby as Taliban fighter fired shots outside the perimeter of the airport.
She wrote: ‘THERE IS A WOMAN HOLDING HER BABY IN THIS VIDEO! This blood on the hands of the Biden administration and no one will ever forgive or forget this.’
In a lengthy Instagram post later she went on to add that she had been ‘physically ill’ about the turmoil which ‘will be seen as one of the greatest foreign policy catastrophes of my lifetime.’
McCain is a former co-host on ABC chat show ‘The View’
‘Our veterans deserve better, the innocent Afghan people and our allies and translators who have stood by us for the past 20 years deserve better,’ McCain said.
‘The shame, dishonor and embarrassment the Biden administration has brought to our country will take generations to undo.
‘Not to mention our standing in the world and the cruel reality that the likelihood of another significant domestic terror attack has not risen to the highest levels since 9/11 and will usher in Isis 3.0.’
The Biden administration remains under intense pressure to explain what it did and did not know as it pushed ahead with the president’s order to bring home troops by September 11.
During the past week, Biden has shifted blame to the intelligence community, insisting that the rapid advance of the Taliban had taken the administration by surprise.
‘The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,’ he said last week.
And in his woeful interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Wednesday, Biden said there was no warning of such a precipitous fall.
A U.S. Air Force plane is seen landing at Bagram Air Base on July 1. The base has since been abandoned
US Marines assigned to 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit escort evacuees during an evacuation at Kabul airport on Thursday
Evacuees boarding a C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation from Kabul on Thursday
‘Number one, as you know, the intelligence community did not say back in June or July that, in fact, this was gonna collapse like it did,’ he said.
Stephanopoulos proved for more detail. He asked: ‘They thought the Taliban would take over, but not this quickly?’
Biden replied: ‘But not this quickly. Not even close.’
In another part of the interview he said he could not remember ever being advised by senior Pentagon figures to maintain a military presence in the country.
Reports suggest that his generals urged him to leave 2,500 troops to support and train the Afghan force.
‘No, no one said that to me that I can recall,’ Biden said.
The White House sent the deputy National Security Adviser, Jonathan Finer, as their envoy to news networks on Thursday, while his more senior colleagues remained out of sight.
His boss, Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, has become in the eyes of many ‘the face’ of the crisis – and, amid calls for his resignation over the debacle, he was absent on Thursday.
The Pentagon held a press briefing, only for spokesman John Kirby to admit that he did not know how many US citizens remained in Afghanistan. He could not even muster an estimate when pushed, telling the reporter to ask the State Department.
Kayleigh McEnany, who served as Donald Trump’s White House spokesperson from April 2020 to January 2021, on Thursday took Psaki to task over her failure to hold daily briefings during the crisis.
‘Jen Psaki promised us a daily White House press briefing,’ McEnany said.
‘There isn’t one today. There wasn’t one Monday. When the going gets tough, the daily press briefing that she promised goes out the window.’
The Trump administration was strongly criticized for abolishing the tradition of regular briefings, and went 300 days without holding one.
Stephanie Grisham, in her nine months on the job from July 2019 until her firing in April 2020, never held a White House press briefing – a unique and ignominious distinction.
A crime writer, Don Winslow, said he would donate $100,000 to a children’s hospital if Grisham did a briefing – then Stephen King doubled the bounty.
She did not take the bait and rarely conducted the smaller informal briefings known as ‘gaggles’ and almost never appeared on TV, unless it was Fox News.
Crowds are seen gathering outside Kabul airport on Thursday, trying to get in and flee
Furthermore, Trump himself held less than half as many press conferences as the previous two administrations during their first three years in office.
Biden has only granted nine sit-down interviews in his first seven months in office, a number far below that of his Trump and Barack Obama, who held 50 interviews and 113 interviews, respectively, at this time in their presidency.
McEnany said that Kirby’s failure to find out how many Americans remained in Afghanistan compounded the mistake made by Psaki in not appearing.
‘When you are a press secretary at any entity, you anticipate whatever the questions will be,’ McEnany said.
‘One of the most obvious questions is how many Americans are on the ground.
‘He didn’t take up the time to pick up the phone and call Secretary of State Antony Blinken and get that number for us when you are the one place we are getting information from today, when there are nearly 15,000 American hostages on the ground?
‘And the Pentagon spokesperson could not pick up the phone and Jen Psaki won’t go to the podium to give us these very basic answers we deserve.’
Biden v. Reality: Biden falsely stated the US has no troops in Syria – when there are 900 – in a series of lies of bungled statements in ABC interview
Biden says there was ‘no way’ to leave Afghanistan without chaos ensuing, but six weeks ago he said a Taliban takeover was ‘highly unlikely.’
Biden told Stephanopoulos that chaos in Kabul was always in the cards for an Afghanistan withdrawal, but just six weeks ago he said that a Taliban takeover was ‘highly unlikely.’
‘There’s no way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,’ the president said in a Wednesday interview.
In his July 8 briefing, Biden assured the press: ‘It is not inevitable. The likelihood of the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.’
And even though the president said mayhem was inevitable, he laid blame on Afghani forces unwilling to fight and President Ashraf Ghani who fled the country.
‘When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government, get in a plane and taking off and going to another country; when you saw the significant collapse of the Afghan troops we had trained, up to 300,000 of them, just leaving their equipment and taking off – that was, you know, I’m not, that’s what happened. That’s simply what happened’, he said.
Biden says US doesn’t have a military presence in Syria, but 900 troops remain there.
The president told Stephanopoulos that al-Qaeda could build up a significant presence in Afghanistan sooner than the original intelligent assessment of 18 to 24 months, but the US should be more worried about the threat from al-Qaeda in Syria.
‘Al Qaeda, ISIS, they metastasize. There’s a significantly greater threat to the United States from Syria. There’s a significantly greater threat from East Africa. There’s significant greater threat to other places in the world than it is from the mountains of Afghanistan,’ Biden said.
‘We have maintained the ability to have an over-the-horizon capability to take them out. We’re– we don’t have military in Syria to make sure that we’re gonna be protected–‘
The US does in fact have troops in Syria – 900 of them. Those troops are advising and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces to fight the Islamic State, a role they have played since the US-led intervention in 2014.
Biden says he can’t recall military officials suggesting he keep the ‘stable’ 2,500 troop presence in Afghanistan, though reports show Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley made exactly such a request.
‘Your top military advisers warned against withdrawing on this timeline – they wanted you to keep about 2,500 troops,’ Stephanopoulos said to Biden.
‘No, they didn’t,’ the president pushed back. ‘It was split. That wasn’t true. That wasn’t true.’
‘They didn’t tell you they wanted troops to stay?’ Stephanopoulos asked.
‘No, not in terms of whether we were going to get out in a time frame – all troops, they didn’t argue against that,’ Biden reiterated.
The Wall Street Journal reported the president ignored Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley’s request to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and did not yield Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s warning about the stability of the country without a U.S. troop presence.
Stephanopoulos pressed the president on the report: ‘Your military advisers did not tell you, ‘No, we should just keep 2,500 troops, it’s been a stable situation for the last several years, we can do that, we can continue to do that?’
‘No, no one said that to me that I can recall,’ Biden said.
An exasperated Milley declined to rule out ‘regrets’ on Thursday. ‘Right now the focus is on the mission [evacuating Americans and allies] … there will be plenty of time to talk about regrets,’ he said when asked if the US should have done anything differently.
Biden argued that the recent stability was not due to the troop presence but due to a peace deal with the Taliban signed by President Trump promising US forces would leave, which Biden has said he was bound to honor.
Milley did say on Wednesday intelligence had only predicted Kabul could fall to the Taliban in a matter of weeks, months or years, not days.
‘There’s nothing that I or anyone saw indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days,’ Milley added, further reflecting the Biden administration’s frustration with Afghan security forces they believe were unwilling to fight.
‘This comes down to an issue of will and leadership. And no, I did not, nor did anyone else, see a collapse of an army of that size in 11 days,’ Milley underscored again.
Biden says US has control of Kabul airport, though Taliban fighters have formed a wall around the airport and are controlling who goes in and out.
‘Now, granted, it took two days to take control of the airport. We have control of the airport now,’ Biden told Stephanopoulos.
Heart-wrenching scenes on Monday showed Afghanis desperate to flee throwing themselves in front of US aircraft taxiing down the runway. US service members fired shots killing at least two civilians in an effort to push the Afghans back behind airport walls to clear out Americans.
And on Wednesday night US troops used teargas and fired shots into the air to control the increasingly desperate crowds of Afghans at the airport, while Taliban fighters blocked Westerners from getting to evacuation planes in a fifth day of chaos.
The Taliban appear to be tightening their grip, instituting checkpoints and stopping people from even getting to the airport, and there are no troops there on the ground to retrieve them because they are all at the airport defending it from a stampede of frightened natives.
The Taliban has promised foreign governments that they will let through all Westerners and civilians who want to board flights, but even ABC journalists were blocked from getting to the airport on Thursday despite having paperwork proving who they were.
Since Aug. 14, only 7,000 have been evacuated, though Biden said the US was trying to bring home 10,000-15,000 Americans and another 50,000-60,000 Afghanis, all by Aug. 31 – 12 days from now.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, US forces only removed 2,000 people on 18 jets that could have taken 10,000.
Some on the ground called it a ‘lottery’ and described people with paperwork getting through but being turned away, while others without any ticket out are making their way onto planes through luck and force.
On Wednesday, Afghan mothers who can’t get through handed their babies over the wall to Western soldiers to be put on flights without them. American troops have been seen helping some women over the barbed wire, while shouting at others to stand back.
Biden says ‘no one is being killed’ at Kabul airport, though the Taliban have killed at least 12.
‘But, look, b– but no one’s being killed right now, God forgive me if I’m wrong about that, but no one’s being killed right now,’ Biden told Stephanopoulos when the ABC anchor noted ‘pandemonium’ at the Kabul airport.
There are at least 12 confirmed deaths in the chaotic scenes around the airport, according to Taliban and NATO officials. Those deaths included the two who were shot by the US military at the airfield and two who fell to their deaths from a US plane as it took off.
Their deaths were caused by either gunshots or stampedes, a Taliban official told Reuters on Thursday. He told Afghans to go home if they didn’t have the proper paperwork to leave, adding a veiled warning: ‘We don’t want to hurt anyone at the airport.’
Biden says Afghani stowaways plunging to their death was ‘four or five days ago,’ – it was two days before the interview.
‘We’ve all seen the pictures. We’ve seen those hundreds of people packed into a C-17. You’ve seen Afghans falling –’ Stephanopoulos said before being cut off by the president.
‘That was four days ago, five days ago,’ Biden quipped, seemingly brushing off harrowing footage that emerged on Monday of two Afghans falling to their deaths after clinging to the wheels of a US evacuation flight,
‘What did you think when you first saw those pictures?’
‘What I thought was we have to gain control of this,’ he said. ‘We have to move this more quickly. We have to move in a way in which we can take control of that airport. And we did.’
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