In an interview with ABC News, Biden was asked if it was a failure of intelligence, planning, execution or judgment that led to the situation in Afghanistan.
“I don’t think it was a failure,” the President responded.
He added, “When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government getting into a plane and taking off and going to another country. When you saw the significant collapse of the Afghan troops we had trained, that was — you know I’m not — that’s what happened. That’s simply what happened.”
“I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that, we’re going to go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how that happened,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Asked if that was “always priced into the decision,” Biden initially responded yes, but then added that exactly what happened was not part of his calculation.
“One of the things we didn’t know is what the Taliban would do, in terms of trying to keep people from getting out. What they would do. What are they doing now? They’re cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, etc., but they’re having — we’re having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there,” Biden said.
The 90-second clip was released by ABC News on Wednesday afternoon, with more scheduled to air on later on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Biden on chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal: ‘I don’t think it was a failure’