Media top headlines August 18
In media news today, a top Biden aide says he won’t ‘comment on hypotheticals’ when asked if Americans will be left in Afghanistan, a journalist who witnessed the fall of Saigon reacts to the situation in Afghanistan, and Twitter faces scrutiny as Taliban fighters continue using the Big Tech platform
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was ripped for trying to spin reports of billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment now in the hands of the Taliban, arguing it’s “what happens” when troops leave.
“This is what happens when you withdraw,” Pelosi said in an interview with KPIX 5 News Tuesday. “Some stuff is left there. It was thought that would be used. It was hoped that would be used by the Afghan military to defend its own country.”
“The fact that it did not and could not,” Pelosi added, “was all more the reason for us to leave.”
“Beyond parody,” one writer tweeted of Pelosi’s assertion.
“Pelosi doing her best to sell Biden’s catastrophic botch,” added Jorge Bonilla, director of the conservative Media Research Center Latino.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan admitted Tuesday that a “fair amount” of U.S. weapons given to the Afghanistan government had fallen to the Taliban, including guns, ammunition and helicopters.
“We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone,” Sullivan said. “But certainly, a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban, and, obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”
Pelosi defended Biden’s decision to remove U.S. troops, arguing it reduced the prospect of an attack on the homeland. She did not say whether Congress will investigate the decision-making behind the withdrawal, but she did preview a congressional hearing on the subject for next week.
Other lawmakers, including many Democrats, condemned Biden for the bungled operation. In the wake of the U.S. exit, the Taliban has seized control of almost all of Afghanistan, leaving thousands of Americans stranded.
“There’s no way to hide it,” Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, tweeted. “The situation in Afghanistan is another shame on this admin. Withdrawal was never going to be easy but it didn’t need to come to this. The US must do everything in its power to help our partners & allies to safety & protect our national security.”
Biden was criticized for returning to Camp David following his speech on Afghanistan Monday, in which he did not take any questions. The Washington Post also fact-checked his address to conclude the president exaggerated the size of the Afghan military.
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