Reporters for ABC and CNN contradict Biden's claims that Americans aren't having trouble reaching the Kabul airport

·2 min read
US President Joe Biden, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R), speaks about the ongoing US military evacuations of US citizens and vulnerable Afghans, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 20, 2021.
President Joe Biden with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images
  • President Joe Biden said American citizens have not had a hard time getting to the Kabul airport.

  • Foreign correspondents on the ground in Afghanistan quickly countered that assertion.

  • A CNN reporter said: "Technically it's possible, but it's extremely difficult and it's dangerous."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Foreign correspondents in Afghanistan on Friday called out President Joe Biden for saying that Americans have not had trouble getting to the Kabul airport.

The Taliban took control of the capital city on Sunday and have declared the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Since then, the militant group has established a perimeter outside the Kabul airport, while remaining US forces inside that perimeter have been trying to get Afghans and US citizens on flights out of the country.

"We have no indication that they haven't been able to get in Kabul through the airport. We made an agreement with the Taliban," Biden said when asked about reports that US citizens were stranded outside the airport, with thousands of Afghans unable to get in.

As foreign correspondents for CNN and ABC reported from Afghanistan, they said Biden's claim did not stack up to what they'd been seeing.

"I mean - just totally not," ABC foreign correspondent Ian Pannell said during a live shot when asked about Biden's remarks.

"It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart," he added.

"Anyone who says any American can get in here is… technically it's possible, but it's extremely difficult and it's dangerous," CNN's Clarissa Ward tweeted.

"We had difficulty getting into the airport. Working out how to get to the airport is like a Rubik's Cube," Ward added.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also contradicted Biden by telling members of Congress that Americans were being beaten by the Taliban in Kabul.

The Pentagon's press secretary said later on Friday that the US had "communicated to the Taliban that that is absolutely unacceptable, and we want free passage through these checkpoints for documented Americans. ... By and large, that's happening."

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