(USA Features) CNN foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward railed at President Joe Biden during a Thursday interview over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, where she has been reporting, indicating that from her perspective, the pullout has been a disaster.
“The lack of clear information, the rumor mill is in overdrive,” Ward said on CNN Thursday morning.
“There’s hysteria. You have Taliban fighters with whips, with guns. You have U.S. and U.K. soldiers who are not allowing people in,” she continued.
“You have mixed messaging coming through about what kind of paperwork you need and how you can get on a flight and where you can go,” Ward added.
“It is just an absolute mess,” Ward insisted.
“And we heard President Biden say yesterday in his comments to ABC News that this is not a failure,” she continued.
“I think a lot of people outside their airport, particularly those taking the kinds of extreme actions…would like to know if this isn’t failure, what does failure look like, exactly?” she asked.
CNN reporter on situation in Afghanistan:
"If this isn't failure then what does failure look like?" pic.twitter.com/qg7uk7neQD
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) August 19, 2021
Earlier, Biden told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos that “no one is dying” in Afghanistan despite at least 12 recorded deaths at the Kabul international airport alone, while also claiming that he didn’t “recall” whether his military commanders advised him to keep up to 2,500 troops in the country.
“Your top military advisers warned against withdrawing on this timeline – they wanted you to keep about 2,500 troops,” Stephanopoulos told Biden during the interview.
“No, they didn’t,” Biden responded unequivocally. “It was split. That wasn’t true. That wasn’t true.”
“They didn’t tell you they wanted troops to stay?” Stephanopoulos responded.
“No, not in terms of whether we were going to get out in a time frame – all troops, they didn’t argue against that,” the president repeated.
But the host continued to press Biden 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.