Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal on 9/11 anniversary: 'How else could you get out?’

Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal on 9/11

President Biden speaks to reporters about the Afghanistan withdrawal during a visit to mark 20 years since 9/11.

President Biden on Saturday again defended the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, arguing that the vast majority of Americans wanted to get out — and asking “How else could you get out?”

Biden was speaking to reporters in Shanksville, Pa., on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was asked about whether the withdrawal of the U.S. forces at the end of August marks a new phase for the country.

“But the flip of it is they didn’t like the way we got out, but it’s hard to explain to anybody, how else could you get out?” he asked.

“For example, if we were in Tajikistan, we pulled up a C-130 and said, ‘we’re going to let you know anybody who was involved with being sympathetic to us to get in the plane,’ you’d have people hanging in the wheel well,” he added. “Come on.”

The U.S. is currently evacuating what it estimates will be 95,000 Afghan evacuees to the U.S. over the next year via U.S. military airbases in the region and in Europe, that includes Special Immigration Visa (SIV) applicants as well as other Afghans involved in the U.S operation and also Afghans deemed “at risk.” 

Those flights were temporarily halted on Friday after multiple cases of measles were identified among arrivals in the U.S.

During the evacuation period, in which Kabul airport was overwhelmed with those seeking to flee Afghanistan, there were images of Afghans clinging to wheels of planes departing the country. Separately, the the United States Air Force said that human remains were found in the wheel well of one C-17 aircraft that departed from Kabul.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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