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tv   President Biden Updates Nation on Afghanistan Tropical Storm Henri  CSPAN  August 22, 2021 4:18pm-4:46pm EDT

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afghanistan turns out to be. the chinese attitude towards this is probably mixed. towards what is happening in afghanistan, it is probably mixed. probably some tension internally. when we were in the initial days rounding up extremists -- >> c-span is live at the white house where president biden is getting ready to address the nation on the situation in afghanistan. he is expected to give an update to the response to tropical storm henri which was downgraded from a hurricane. you are watching live coverage here on c-span. >> fema administrator with me today. about flash flooding in waverley , tennessee and surrounding areas in tennessee. want to begin by expressing condolences for the tragic loss of life due to this last blood.
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i know we have reached out -- lost of life do the to this flash flood. i know we have reached out to offer what they need at the moment. this is a tropical storm, which made landfall at 12:15 this afternoon in rhode island. henri is impacting much of the west -- east right now. i want to talk about our efforts to prepare and respond to this storm. we have been monitoring the storm's progress and making preparation. it has been downgraded to a tropical storm. we are taking it seriously. the size and the storm's surge and the rain that the storm is producing is impacting an area of the country that is already
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experiencing heavy rainfall over the past several days. we are use to some tough weather, this storm has the potential for widespread consequences across the region with significant flooding and power outages that could affect hundreds of thousands of people. we are doing everything we can now to help those states prepare and respond and recover. i cannot think of anyone better to lead the operation than criswell of fema. -- chris well of fema. she was one of the key federal officials leading a response to superstorm sandy. she knows this area well. she knows what is needed better than anyone. i talked with the administrator and each of the governors in the state to be affected.
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i urged them to take advantage of the assistance fema can offer in advance and committed to do everything we can to support their communities through the storm and afterwards. fema has repositioned resources in the region to speed up our ability to respond including food, and lifesaving communications equipment and generators. vibrations are in place to address significant power outages -- preparations are in place to address significant power outages. thousands of additional line crews and a vegetation clearing crews from other states are already heading towards the impacted states in new england. ready to serve and move in as soon as feasible. they will repair damaged lines and restart electrical service as fast as possible.
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we want to think these crews were thinking their fellow citizens in a time of need. i have already approved emergency declarations for rhode island, connecticut, and new york. which activates funds and means we can get in there and help as soon as the storm moves through. we do not know the impact today, but we want to prevent damage as much as possible. to speed help to affected communities as they can recover as quickly as possible. i want to urge everyone to do their part to prepare. follow guidance from local authorities. henri it's going to continue to move across much of the northeast. it is important to monitor closely and be prepared in your home. be sure you have the supplies for your entire household including necessary medications and food.
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battery-powered radios in case of extended power outages. do not forget, you may need to seek shelter why you are battling -- while you are battling covid-19. wear a mask and observe social distancing. everyone across the country, do not get caught by the next storm. get vaccinated. protect yourself and your family against covid-19. it is going to be a vital part of emergency preparedness this year. now we turn to afghanistan. we have made progress since i spoke to you on friday. we have moved thousands of people each day by u.s. military aircraft and civilian charter flights. a little over 30 hours this weekend we evacuated an extraordinary number of people. about 11,000 individuals.
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the number will change day to day as the air and ground operations vary. our first priority is getting american citizens out of the country as quickly and safely as possible. my direction, the said department reaches out to the remaining americans we have a defined by phone, email, and other means to ascertain their whereabouts. we plan to move these americans to safety. to safely and effectively move them to the airport compound. for security reasons, i'm not going to go into the details of what these plans entail. today, any american who wants to get home will get home. we also have been effectuating the citizens of our nato allies and -- evacuating the citizens of our nato allies who remain in afghanistan. to get them back to their homes as well.
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as we do this, we are also working to move our afghan allies who stood with us and other vulnerable afghans such as women leaders and journalists out of the country. as of this morning, we have evacuated nearly 28,000 people since august 14 on both u.s. and coalition aircraft including civilian charters. ringing the total number of people -- ringing the number of people up to 30,000 people. -- bringing the number of people up to 30,000 people. there were nine flights carrying 3000, and i hundred passengers -- 3900 passengers. we authorized another round of flights, carrying evacuees to other countries that are taking
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them. we lifted approximately 11,000 people out of afghanistan in 36 hours. the effectuation of thousands of people -- evacuation of thousands of people is going to be hard and painful regardless of when we began. it would have been true if we started a month ago or a month from now. there is no way to effectuate this many people without pain and loss. it is just a fact. my heart aches for those people you see. we are moving we can move thousands of people a day out of kabul. we are bringing our citizens, allies, and afghan allies over. to move 30,000 people in over a week, that is a great testament to the men and women on the
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ground. it also reflects a tireless diplomatic effort. in order to keep a steady flow of planes taking off, and maximize our actuation capacity -- evacuation capacity we have set up a global effort. we are not flagrantly to other countries, their flying to assessing stations -- they are blind to processing stations -- flying to processing centers. in kuwait, spain, and elsewhere. it allows us to sort and process evacuees. these provide a safe place for the applicants and other vulnerable afghanis to complete
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paperwork while we conduct background checks before they continue on to the final destination. one of our nato allies as well. from asia to africa, from europe to western hemisphere, nations are making generous offers to support resettlement efforts. i have been in personal contact with the leaders of many countries, they are making final contributions. to think them for their support and discuss how we can continue to coordinate efforts in afghanistan is what i see in contact with them. i want to thank all of our partners for continuing to stand together. we also activated the civil reserve air fleet. to help with the onward movement of evacuees from these transit centers. our military aircraft will get them to these centers. we will get to a civil reserve
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fleet, designed in the top of the berlin airlift to use commercial aircraft to augment our airlift capacity. this is a voluntary program for our commercial airlines. we are grateful for those airlines and u.s. carriers who are supporting us. this effort will only use 3-4 aircraft per carrier. there should be a minimal effect on commercial air travel. we will stay in" a nation to mitigate -- we will stay in close coordination to mitigate any impact. we will facilitate the safe movement of people from transit centers to the united states or to a third country. none of them will be landing in kabul. -- and effort unfolds, want to be clear.
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one, planes taking off from kabul on line directly to the united states. they are landing at military bases and transit centers. at these sites, we are conducting a thorough scrutiny and security screenings for everyone who is not a u.s. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. anyone arriving in the united states have undergone background checks. once screened and cleared, we will welcome these afghans who helped us in the war effort over the last 20 years to their new home in the united states of america. that is who we are. that is what america is. i have been touched by the support we have seen from communities across america. mobilizing to support these efforts. some of these afghans stupidly
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by u.s. troops. now the will -- now the united states and others are standing with our afghan allies. it exemplifies the best of america. i want to see again, just how difficult this mission is and how dangerous it is for our troops on the ground. the security environment is changing rapidly. civilians crowded at the airport , even though we have cleared thousands of them. terrorists may seek to exploit the situation and target citizens or american troops. we are maintaining a constant vigilance to monitor and disrupt threats from any source. including the likely source being isis, referred to as isis k. we are under no illusions about the threat.
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isis k is a sworn enemy of the taliban. they have a history of fighting one another. every day we have troops on the ground, these troops faced the risk of attack from isis k. we are working hard and as fast as we can to get people out. that is our mission. that is our goal. it is our determination to get every american home. we continue to see not only the enormous scope and scale of the effort, we will see the individual lives that are affected. the families that are desperate to get home to their loved ones in america. the communities of veterans who have moved to help their former interpreters get to safety. afghans who are unsure what to do.
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it is heartbreaking. we feel it. you cannot look at it and not feel it. nothing about this effort is easy. the women and men of the united states armed forces are acting briefly and with professionalism -- bravely and with professionalism and compassion. i want to offer my profound thanks to those who are welcoming and carrying and caring for these evacuees. for the civil service were working to rescue american assistance, our afghan partners, and vulnerable afghans, what we are doing is extraordinary. you have to think of the things they are doing. people all over the world are helping in this effort. i will keep you informed every
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day as we move forward. god protect our troops and our diplomats. i will take a few questions. darlene? >> will you extend the deadline or what is your thought process on the effectuation -- evacuation operation? >> our hope is we do not have to extend. there is going to be discussions i expect on how far along we are in the process. >> you told the g7 and cornwall if they ask for a larger or longer american presence past the august 31 -- october 31
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deadline -- [indiscernible] >> i will speak with the leaders of d7. -- g7. we will have that discussion. we already have health get out the blue mats -- helped diplomats from other countries. >> it sounded like the operation outside of the airport was outside? >> i'm going to talk about the technical changes to make sure we maintain as much security as we can. we have constantly increased access to the airport where more folk can get there more safely. it is still a dinners operation. -- a dangerous operation. >> afghans are still having
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trouble getting to the airport. you had [indiscernible] why does the u.s. not doing more to allow afghans to get to the airport? >> one, i think you're going to see they are going to get out. we have made a number of changes, including extending the safe zone. we have done a number of things i do not want to go into detail about. the fact is, more and more of the groups we urgently want to get out of afghanistan, starting with american citizens. and the folks who worked in the
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embassies and personnel with our allies as well as the afghans who help them and worked in this embassies as well as those who help them on the battlefield. we are working diligently to make sure we have increased the ability to get them out. we changed the gate operations and a whole range of things. that is why we have been able to increase the number of people we have been getting out. >> [indiscernible] >> the taliban have been cooperative in expanding the promoter. -- remitter -- perimeter. >> because the united states is to go shooting with the taliban, do you have a preference? a new poll today shows americans wanted to withdraw from afghanistan. for the disapprove of the way you handled it -- update disapprove of the way you
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handled it. the majority -- but disapprove of the way you handled it. what would you say to the americans who no longer believe in you? >> i had a basic decision to make. i either withdraw america from a 20 year war. depending on whose analysis you read it cost us millions for 20 years. i carry this card with me every day. where we lost -- over 2000 americans dead and many more wounded. we increase the number of forces we keep their we will keep that going.
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and the war. i decided -- end the war. i decided to end the war. this is a place from which bin laden attacked the united states of america. we would have never have gone to afghanistan. the question is, when is the right time to leave? where our national interests? where do they lie? you're in a situation where we can not recognize that terrorism has metastasized around the world. the need for us to focus on other parts of the world great a greater danger of an al qaeda like operation beginning. we are, a number of places -- there are a number of places we are doing that. i think when this is over, the
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american people have a clear understanding of what i did, why we did it. that is the job. my job is to make judgments. my job is to make judgments that others cannot make. i am convinced i am correct in not sending more women and men to war. >> do you trust them now? >> i do not trust anybody including you. there is not a lot of people i trust. the taliban has a -- has to make a fundamental decision. if the taliban going to attempt -- is the taliban going to attend to unite and provide for the well-being of the people of afghanistan? if it does, it is going to need
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everything from additional help in terms of economic assistance, a whole range of things. the taliban has said we will see if they mean or ought -- not. they are seeking legitimacy. they are seeking legitimacy to see if there will be recognized by other countries. they do not want us to move our diplomatic presence completely. all of this is talk now. so far, the taliban has not taken action against u.s. forces. so far, they have followed through on what they said in terms of allowing americans to pass through. i am sure they do not control all of their forces. it is a ragtag force. we will see. if what they say turns out to be true. the bottom line is this, at the
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end of the day, if we did not leave afghanistan, when do we leave? another 10 years? i'm not about to send your son or daughter to fight in afghanistan. i do not see where that is in our overall interest. the talk about how our interests are going to be impacted. you are sitting in beijing, moscow, are you happy we left? they love nothing better for us to continue to be bogged down there. totally occupied with what is going on. the idea this is -- history is going to record this was the rational decision to make. thank you so very much. >> the british are calling for sanctions. would you support sanctions against the taliban under
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certain conditions? if they misbehave? >> it depends on the conduct. >> what about isis? [indiscernible] >> tonight, c-span series and wary -- january 6th, testimony from the house. pennsylvania democrats susan wild recounts what happened during those early moments on the house floor. >> i do not remember how long we were in the situation between
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the time they barricaded the door and a time we got out. i think it was somewhere between 20 minutes. it could have been two hours or five minutes. i had no sense of time. i remember when i got off the phone with my kids. i felt my heart was pounding out of my chest. i felt, i was worried i was having a heart attack. i have never had a heart attack but my father had a heart attack. we have a family history. i was worried about that. i must've put my hand up to my chest because that photograph of me that was taken shows me lying on my back with my hand up to my chest. i do not remember. i do remember jason taking my hand and stroking it and comforting me and telling me i was going to be ok. being a low bit perplexed that he was reassuring me.
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-- a little bit perplexed that he was reassuring me. >> tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span,, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> c-span's "washington journal". we would discuss policy issues that impact you. monday morning, the associated press will preview the week ahead at the white house. then the wall street journal talks about what we can expect on capitol hill as the house are presented if takes a break to work on a budget legislation. editor in chief at the breaking defense newsletter will discuss the taliban's takeover of afghanistan. writer and former ceo on


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