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tv   Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer Dana Perino  FOX News  August 24, 2021 6:00am-8:00am PDT

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>> >> bill: good morning. big news on afghanistan. at this hour we're waiting to hear from the president whether or not he will stand up to the taliban to country and more. a big two hours here. here we go. bill hemmer live in new york. >> dana: i'm dana perino. "america's newsroom." we want to tell you where we stand at this hour. fox is confirming president bidens cia director was in kabul yesterday to hold a secret face-to-face meeting with the leader of the taliban. >> bill: 30 minutes from this moment president biden will hold a virtual meeting with the
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g-7 allies urging him to extend the operation beyond the 31st, a week from today. the taliban calls that date a red line. >> dana: the president will address the american people after the meetings today at noon eastern. right now he is meeting with his own national security team. >> bill: later this morning those same advisors brief house lawmakers on the crisis behind closed doors. lawmakers from both sides warning this entire situation is dire. >> i don't think it's possible to get out who we need to get out including our afghan partners by august 31. >> if by the end of the month this crew doesn't safely get every american out of afghanistan, that we will begin the process to hold each of these failed leaders accountable for their actions. >> the threat to the airport is very real and very substantial and this has been a concern of mine for some days now that this would make a very attractive target for isis k or elements of al qaeda.
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>> are americans going to feel they're more safe from terror than they were one year ago or 20 years ago? >> bill: earlier today before a lot of you got up this morning the germans are warning about the islamic state moving closer to the airport. you wonder how much control the taliban has over isis group or not? . >> dana: follow the enemies. isis and the taliban are not friendly. at least at this point. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell standing by. we have team fox coverage. trey yingst has information on the evacuation and jackie heinrich at the white house. >> the president is under pressure from allies to push back the august 31 deadline, a week from today. taliban has called that date a red line saying that if, quote, the occupation is extended, it will provoke a reaction. but the chairman of the house intel committee said after that classified briefing yesterday
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he doubts the evacuation will finish by the 31st and reiterated concerns we've been hearing from the administration that there is a considerable threat to the operation underway at the airport coming from isis and al qaeda. administration announced within the last 24 hours 21,000 people have been evacuated. that number was not broken down by nationality. the state department and pentagon haven't given clear numbers on how many americans have been evacuated. a leaked state department cable reported by "politico" estimates the number is 4300 americans. not even half of the 11,000 the white house estimated were in the country last week. yesterday white house press secretary jen psaki rejected the characterization that the americans are stranded. >> most of the criticism is not of leaving afghanistan. it is the way that he has ordered it to happen by pulling the troops before getting these americans who are now stranded. does he have -- >> i think it's irresponsible
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to say americans are stranded. they are not. we're committed to bringing americans home. >> no american stranded is the white house official position in afghanistan. >> i'm calling you out for saying we're stranding americans in afghanistan when we have been very clear that we are not leaving americans who want to return home. we are going to bring them home. >> ahead of that g7 meeting the president is meeting with his full national security advisors team. there were concerns raised about the u.s. continuing on the path toward the august 31st withdrawal and heard similar concerns from the british prime minister, boris johnson. awaiting news coming out of that meeting later on this morning. >> dana: busy day at the white house. >> bill: now we're trying to track down the cia director's secret meeting with the taliban leader in kabul. we go to doha, qatar.
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>> fox news confirmed cia director william burns met with the leader of the taliban meeting privately in kabul at an undisclosed location. highest level face-to-face meeting between the taliban and americans since the group took control of afghanistan. he was arrested 11 years ago in a joint c.i.a. operation with the pakistanis and eight years. this meeting comes a week away from the deadline to withdraw american troops from afghanistan. u.s. allies say it won't give them enough time to evacuate all the vulnerable afghan civilians from the country. more than 21,000 people were evacuated in the past 24 hours as flights from the country continue to ramp up. half of all evacuations from kabul since the taliban took over happened in the past two days alone. flight radars show more charters and one civilian plane landing at the airport.
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despite the progress we've seen over the past 48 hours major concerns about americans and afghans stranded in afghanistan. we continue to get messages and phone calls from people asking desperately for any sort of when he to get people out of the country. >> bill: back to you shortly in doha. >> dana: desperation growing among those trying to flee. a week from today the august 31 date. people are pleading with president biden to save her and her family. >> we're stranded at home. we can't get to the airport. when we try to get to the airport you get beaten up. we're afraid for our lives. we get more news to stay put than to be told that you are going to be evacuated. this is not comforting at all because we don't know if we are going to make it out. my daughter thinks that the taliban will behead me.
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every time she sees me mom, why are they going to behead you? there are thousands of people to be executed. i am afraid for my life. i don't know, you know, how things are going to go. i really need our president to really consider this serious. we are in danger. we are in danger, mr. president, please, help us. >> dana: this young woman was not in the briefing room yesterday. peter doocy asked on behalf of those. jen psaki aggressively pushed back against the idea anyone is stranded. hours later. u.s. forces go to kabul to extract stranded americans and allies. the "politico", pentagon confirms latest mission to
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rescue americans stranded in kabul. her family is stranded in afghanistan. the white house said they will get every american out. you could quibble over the word stranded. that woman feels stranded. >> bill: with us now for reaction senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. thank you for your time and good morning to you. what has the administration told you? >> well, first let me say this is one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in american history. i think it's important to remember where we were a few months ago before the president's reckless decision to leave. we only had 2500 troops there. we hadn't lost a single american person, military personnel in a year. the taliban, barbarians were not in charge of the country. we were keeping the lid on. al qaeda was not there. so the decision to pull out was a huge mistake in my opinion. having made that decision, you
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would have to conclude these guys couldn't or niez a two-car funeral. the president needs to forget about the august 31st deadline. we need to send in enough american personnel, military personnel to rescue our people. there are more american soldiers there now than before the president made the decision to leave. extend the deadline, get outside the perimeter, make sure that every single american who wants to leave is able to get out with our assistance and our afghan allies. >> bill: the taliban has a vote in this as you know now. what if they say no? >> look, the taliban should not be allowed to tell us how long we are there to get our personnel out. that's our decision, not theirs. they can cooperate if they want to.
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if they don't, we need to do what's necessary to get our people out and to get out the loyal translators who are stuck there as well who worked with us. >> dana: you've been there since 9/11. in the senate you've watched four administrations with strengths and weaknesses in each of those. seven months into the biden administration. what needs to happen now this early on in the administration with three more years to go that comes to foreign pollz. they will meet with the g-7 allies that are frustrated. >> you listed all the critics. nato allies. by the way, nato allies are there with us. we weren't there by ourselves. everybody in our -- all of our allies realize that this decision has greatly weakened our efforts in the war on terror. the war on terror could be
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fought two places, over there or over here. and the strategy since 9/11 has actually worked. we have not had another foreign-inspired terrorist attack in the united states in 20 years. we had finally evolved into a policy that was actually working in afghanistan as well. with a very light footprint we were keeping the lid on the barbarians were not in charge of the government. of course it was not a jefferson democracy. it's not why we went there in the first place. this is not about nation building but about protecting us at home from foreign terrorist attacks. >> bill: there are some who believe the president pulled the plug because he wanted the symbolism for 9/11 20 years removed. do you think that's true? >> well, i think every president has been tempted by the poll question if you ask americans if we've been there too long they are likely to say yes. if you provide some context you would get a totally different
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answer. my guess is americans would probably think we've been in germany, japan and south korea too long if we asked that question. you have to provide the context. in the war on terror, the idea was to try to combat the terrorists overseas so they could not successfully attack us here at home. that's the mission. it worked. and the president's reckless decision to precipitously withdraw was a clear mistake and then having no plan to execute the withdrawal was an even bigger mistake. this is a foreign policy blunder of huge proportions that is a stain on our national reputation and will be remembered for decades. >> bill: i think it has been 45 years since we've been in this situation. clearly there were differences between now and 1975. what have you thought about the near and long-term damage to the united states as a result of this debacle? >> i think it's a lot worse
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than saigon in 1975. there weren't terrorists in vietnam threatening to attack us here on u.s. soil. this is dramatically worse than saigon in 1975 because al qaeda on the way back in, the same group with allied terrorist organizations that want to hit us here at home will be able to operate freely throughout afghanistan. so this is considerably worse than the fall of saigon. >> dana: sir, back here at home the democrats yesterday in the house were trying to coble together their coalition to get their domestic agenda passed including the 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and 3.5 trillion in the social reconstruction plan. given all of this and the need to focus the importance of focusing on americans getting
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out of afghanistan what do you think of that agenda for president biden at this moment? >> i wish the moderates in the house success. they want to split the infrastructure bill away from this massive 3 1/2 to 5 trillion reckless tax and spending bill and deal with the two separately. this 3 1/2 trillion dollar tax increase and it's massive spending program is a disaster for the country. bernie sanders may have lost the nomination but he won the war within the democratic party over what they're like. and so we're now down to just a handful of democrats in the house, maybe 9 or 10 and maybe 2 in the senate that don't sign on to this socialist agenda. i'm pulling for them. there won't be a single republican in the house or senate supporting this 3 1/2 to 5 trillion dollar tax increase. >> bill: thank you for your time. a lot of news on all this throughout the day. appreciate your first word of the day here with us today.
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mitch mcconnell. thank you. so a couple things here again the president will meet with g-7 leaders at 9:30 eastern time virtually. maybe we get something from the pentagon in the next hour after that and house lawmakers get a briefing of their own. when that happens even behind closed doors there will be a multitude of leaks coming from that. we're watching for headlines. you have a lot of other news today. today is the deadline for u.s. intel officials to deliver that report on how covid started in the first place. remember biden ordered this so will he accept their conclusions? latest on that. >> dana: pfizer becoming the first company to gainful fda approval for its coronavirus vaccine. we'll talk to the ceo. >> sgl* the missing and flooding in tennessee. the recovery effort will take years. that's coming up. >> six feet of water inside the restaurant. all the equipment and everything has been destroyed.
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>> bill: fox news alert now learning about 22 people killed, a dozen still reported missing. charles watson is live in waverly, tennessee dealing with so much there. charles, good morning. >> good morning, bill. crews are making progress in their search efforts. county officials tell us they're looking for fewer than 10 people but as you can tell from the destruction behind me, this home with three cars crews have a lot to contend with making rescue efforts so much more difficult. >> we aren't talking about people getting just their houses flooded. we're talking about that. i'm talking about houses that have been removed from the
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foundation. i'm talking about houses that people can't even get into because the floors are gone. >> this is what you see in the city of waverly for at least seven or eight miles. home after home lifted off foundations and tossed around. this home here thrown 30 feet and it was sat on top of the pickup truck. a woman said her parents lived here. her stepfather got her mother to safety but he was later killed in the tidal wave of water after going back to help a neighbor. >> he was in his truck and we're assuming the water came up so fast he got out of his truck but they found his truck one place and his body in another. the devastation in our town is just -- there is no words for how bad this is for our community. >> despite all the loss and
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devastation, the community is coming together to help in any way they can. folks are leaving donations, whether it be monetary, food, clothing. groups of people going around door-to-door and asking complete strangers if they need help moving wet and muddy debris out of their homes. we've encountered so many people out here who risked their own lives to go and save people when these floods were raging through this area over the weekend. we asked them if they wanted to talk about it and they are modest and humble and say they don't want to make themselves the attention. they want to focus on getting this place back up in good shape and obviously that's going to take quite a while with this level of devastation. >> bill: the scene behind you speaks for them. the town of waverly in tennessee. news out of kabul. taliban holding some sort of press conference. a number of statements including this. they now are guaranteeing the security of the crowds at the
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airport saying the evacuees are free to go home and go home safely. also saying we do not want foreign embassies to close or stop working. they are giving an assurance of security if you can believe that. taliban also saying the u.s. should not encourage the afghan people to leave their homeland. taliban says they're trying to come up with a procedure so women can return to work. they are also saying there is no list of people targeted for reprisals, quote, we have forgotten everything in the past. that coming from kabul. their headlines as we speak, dana. >> dana: well, to talk about whether to believe that our next guest helped soldier in afghanistan as an interpreter. they became united states states citizens last year and took a trip back to afghanistan. they left early and now he asking for help getting his babies out of there. ray as we'll call him joins us now. ray, your wife and two young children have finally made it
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to the airport. what has this past week been like for them. >> good morning. it was horrible for my wife and kids. they had to spend weeks in front of the airport at the gate to try to get inside due to the crowds, due to the security situation. because of the crowd the number of people died in the stampede. they never got the chance to get inside the airport. also the u.s. embassy was not clear enough which base to go, at what time. they were just lost. they are all u.s. citizens and so are my wife and kids. if it were not because of the help in the united states from strangers they would have been stuck there who knows for how long. >> bill: what do you think of
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the united states' decision to get out of your country the way we did? >> this is a question about me, about what i know. there are a lot of u.s. citizens, a lot of interpreters, a lot of people who have worked with the united states that are stranded outside the airport. what you hear on the news and from the taliban, that is 100% not true. they go door-to-door. they target people. they know who they are. sooner or later they will be targets. so we need to step up and get these people out as soon as possible. >> dana: the taliban this morning is saying they're allowing people to go to the airport. that they are the ones securing the airport. they are the ones who will allow women to come back to work and everyone should feel calm and secure with them being in charge.
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that was not your wife's experience this week and do you think others should trust them when they say this? >> no, they should not. i know a number of families that those interpreters, i know they have been targeted. last week i feel them -- by the same taliban. i know there are reporters that when they go to work also they claim they can go to the office but when they go to work they separate men reporters from female reporters and send the female reporters to go home. so what they are saying is not what they are doing. so they are not reliable or trustable and those people whom i worked or who are reporters, they will be targets sooner or later. >> dana: may i ask you since you've become a u.s. citizen and your family is here, for as
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disappointing and upsetting this situation has been what do you love about living in america? >> what i love about living in america is the freedom, is the safety, is the right for education, the right for women, the right of equality and there is not one thing, there are hundreds of other things i can count on and these are all these points that afghans do not have or never had under the previous regime of taliban. what they are doing is not what they are saying. so they should not be trusted. it is not safe for the u.s. citizens. it is not safe for the green card holders, for the siv applicants or any other immigrant holders. they need to get out of there as soon as possible. >> bill: one final question. my best to your brother and sister-in-law who are really in a tight jam. when you hear the white house press secretary say americans
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are not stranded there what did you think of that comment? >> that might be a general statement but what i know that my brother and sisters need to get out and need to get out as soon as possible. and so should other americans as soon as possible. >> bill: sir, thank you for your time. we're hoping for you and praying for you and we know you are really in a moment in your life where things are going to go one way or the other. ray, we're just learning right now the spokesperson for the taliban is insisting that all evacuations be completed by august 31st. so they haven't moved on that deadline. this is the first we heard of it and thought there might be some sort of extension maybe by a few days but they are saying we have not agreed to the extension of the deadline for evacuation.
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what does that mean for the fate of your brothers and many others, ray? >> i believe with the current pace that there has to be an extension. a lot of immigrants stranded in kabul. with the deadline of august 31 i think is not realistic for them to get out with the current pace. also if the u.s. could go out and bring the people into the airport it would be more effective. >> dana: the taliban will realize pretty quickly it doesn't have access to funds. three not be able to actually govern without the ability to get money moving around the country. as i understand it commerce has stopped across the country and makes it also dangerous. i'm assuming at some point your
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brother and sister-in-law have to go out to find food in order to feed themselves. >> that's true. it is terrible on the ground. there is no work, no jobs, banks are closed, the food markets are not operating. it is getting worse day-by-day. i don't know how will it look like in the coming few months. right now people don't go to work. they don't have any -- no food. it is getting worse day-by-day. >> bill: do you have any idea how many people are just like you still there? >> maybe 50,000, 60,000 or maybe more than that. they need to get out of there. >> bill: they are scattered all over the country, right, it's not just kabul.
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>> that's true. maybe other fallen cities. maybe -- who is going to make it from there? >> bill: are you proud that you worked for the americans or do you now regret it? >> i am proud of it. i am proud of it and so are my family members. and so was my father. i am proud of every moment that the u.s. has helped my country, rebuild my country and providing the equal women's rights and human rights in afghanistan. but it is very unfortunate to see those same people who had afghanistan in the past regime they keep women from schools and working and it is so heartbreaking. it is so dangerous to see what is going on in afghanistan. >> dana: would like to meet you one day. thank you for being with us today. >> bill: best to your brother
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and sister-in-law and the 50 to 60,000 you described. no extension is what the taliban spokesman's headline is now. >> dana: that tells how the cia director's meeting went with the taliban yesterday. >> dana: president biden scheduled to hold a virtual meeting as we speak with the g7 leaders on the crisis in afghanistan. no word yet if it has started. the pentagon then will brief at 10:30 a.m. and the national security team will also be on the hill in the next hour to brief house lawmakers. lots going on. >> bill: you have the hundreds of afghans evacuated, right, arriving in the u.s. pentagon housing them at military installations. more than 20,000 have been evacuated from kabul since 3:00 a.m. yesterday which would be an all-time record so far for
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the airlift out of kabul. we asked mitch mcconnell this question 20 minutes ago. if you went 45 years to saigon, that's some of the obvious comparisons here. what is the long-term damage to the united states given the fact that we're -- clearly there are differences between saigon in 75 and kabul today. he said this is far worse than then. the reason for that is the toxic mix of stew where all the terrorists for the jihadist movement have now been able to reunite essentially. this is a reunion of sorts for them 20 years later as we get ready to embark on the anniversary. >> dana: you look at the press conferences and comments as a former cia analyst told me this morning, this is not our father's taliban. this is a different kettle of fish and we have a lot to learn about it. we'll keep doing that. turn to the pandemic. pfizer becoming the first pharmaceutical company to get full fda approval of its covid
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vaccine. president biden says the vaccine helps tants have no more reasons to delay. >> if you said you will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the fda, it has now happened. the moment you've been waiting for is here. it's time for you to go get your vaccination and get it today. the fda approval is the gold standard. and as i just said, now it has been granted. >> dana: let's bring in pfizer ceo, congratulations to you and your company. the utmost concern for anybody when they look at taking a vaccine is to understand if it's safe. can you explain the scope and scale of what you have done to try to get to this point of getting full fda approval? >> thank you, it's a great honor to be on your show, dana. we have done submission to the
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fda that has an unprecedented magnitude. just to give you an idea, the trial was composed by 360,000 pages of data. i don't think there is any other medicine in the world that has been studied so intensively not only in controlled clinical trials like the ones we presented to the fda but in the real world information. for example, we have given this vaccine to more than 1 billion doses of this vaccine. hundreds of millions in the u.s. the systems where they have full medical records for 99.9% of the population is in computerized systems we have very good visibility on the safety and efficacy of this vaccine. it is one of the most researched medicines in the world. >> dana: now that you have full
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approval you are allowed as a company to do some marketing. do you have plans and messaging ready to try to convince people who have been skeptical and hesitant about the vaccine to change their mind and persuade them to get the shot? >> no, i don't think right now is to do anything different than what we're doing. we're focused on two things. to produce as many doses as possible. as you know, the world needs more and right now the demand significantly is higher than the supply. we are working to resolve that. we have released one billion doses as i said in the first six months of 2021 and we are going to release 2 billion doses incremental for the remaining six months of the year. it means next year. >> dana: what will you do to try to keep up with the variants? we're already talking about boosters. can the boosters and this
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technology mrna technology proven safe an effective every many years and now with this vaccine, how do you keep up with that? >> the second thing. keep up with the boosters. what we do every time to keep up with the variants, every time a variant appears in the world our scientists are getting their hands around it and researching to see if this variant can escape the protection of our vaccine. we haven't identified any yet but we believe that it is likely that one day one of them will emerge and we can build the process that within 95 days from the day that we identify a variant of concern we will be able to have a vaccine tailor made against the variant. >> dana: what does it mean for getting approval for children under the age of 12? >> we're having very large studies now for kids between 5 and 11. we will be able to finish those
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studies in september. a little bit later we will do for kids below 5 years old. >> dana: i know the new name of the vaccine you will call it -- i can't -- i'll have you pronounce it for me. i wonder why given all the marketing you've done why not just call it the pfizer vaccine? it is a commitment. unfortunately laws are very specific, the laws of how you can brand the name and regulations of fda. the name is a combination of several words. covid from the co, mrna and also reminds immunity. >> dana: i will work on my pronunciation. i appreciate you being on. >> you need to have an accent like mine to do it. >> dana: thank you for being on, we appreciate it. >> bill: he was born and raised in greece and has an amazing personal story. really awesome story, a billion
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doses. >> dana: i didn't have time to ask but there are some really great possibilities for this mrna technologies and possibly cancers. pay attention to this space and find out the name -- now we know it is a law. >> bill: chaos in afghanistan growing, now president biden's national security team set to give a classified briefing to the entire house. ahead what lawmakers want to know. they might want to know why we left bagram a month and a half ago? we'll talk to the chief general keith kellogg join us, national security advisor to vice president pence will join us live. jen griffin at the pentagon. >> why not reopen bagram air base? >> i don't think it would be a useful expenditure of our time
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>> dana: the head of the cia meeting secretly with the taliban leader in kabul yesterday with the president under pressure to extend the
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august 31 deadline. lucas tomlinson. there is news on this even this morning. >> with seven days to go before the deadline the u.s. military would have to start pulling out this friday. taliban spokesman said there won't be any exceptions. white house expected to make a decision as soon as today. >> we're taking this day-by-day. we believe we're making enormous progress. taking a step back, a week ago we believe we are making progress. we'll keep making progress and the president will ultimately make his decision about the precise shape and scope of the operation. we believe that we have time between now on the 31st to get out any american who wants to get out. >> cia director bill burns career diplomat as america's top spy met the taliban leader yesterday probably about the august 31 deadline. british and french want the u.s. to extend the deadline to get people out of the country.
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11 years ago the taliban leader was in prison for eight years and released in 2018 after pressure from the trump administration to become a taliban's chief negotiator and made a return to kandahar after afghanistan fell to the taliban. he signed a deal with president trump's envoy and posed for a photo the mike pompeo and springing 5,000 taliban prisoners out of jail. evacuation flights ramped up significantly in kabul. 20,000 people were evacuated in 24 hours. half evacuations since august 14th have taken place in the last two days. over 60,000 in all. not clear how many americans have been evacuated. reports 4,000 have. the pentagon john kirby would only say several thousand. >> dana: thank you. >> bill: let's bring in retired general keith kellogg. security advisor to mike pence.
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thank you for coming back. >> thank you very much and thanks for having me on this morning. >> bill: we'll get a lot of news in the next hour or two. what are you thinking about? >> the biggest thing i'm concerned about is watching the lack of leadership that you see at every level from the top, from the president all the way down. dana knows it from being in the west wing i spent 1,461 days in the west wing under president trump and vice president pence and i saw a lot of crisis management. we went through a lot of crises during the four years there and you have to be personally engaged, hands on. a lot of times we were chasing the president, chasing the vice president because they were in front of us and wanting to reach out to leaders and talking to leaders. you don't see this. it's disconnect. you almost get the feeling they hope they would ignore it after august 31. it was something that happened in the past. deal with the border. almost got away with that and seem to be doing the same thing with afghanistan. it has enormous international consequences with our allies,
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with the qatar and emotion rather and everybody. >> dana: you look back to the time in 2018 when president trump signed -- had the negotiation with the taliban and had the conditions set and then you fast forward to today and see the taliban in control, they have won, and they are now having press conferences saying that nobody needs to leave. everything will be fine. i talked to a former c.i.a. official today who said it is not your father's taliban. how much has it changed? >> i don't think they've changed at all. the same taliban in the past. they've become more sophisticated. they become more sophisticated because of the news cycle and also realize the amount of pressure the america can apply if they want to. they're playing nice guys because they know they have this administration on the run. they are making demands of the united states of america? i will tell you if it was president trump and they made
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that demand, the response would have been unprintable and unforgettable both. >> bill: trying to piece this together now. follow me for a moment here. two main places in afghanistan as two weeks ago you did. month half ago, bagram they gave back. you have to protect two pieces of property, the embassy in kabul and the air base in bagram 20 miles north. but you don't have enough men to do the job. because the commander-in-chief is saying downgrade, downgrade, downgrade. then the leaders of the pentagon are saying no, we need x, x, x and the white house is saying you aren't going to get that. so at some point you have to make a decision. are you going to defend the air base north of town or defend the embassy? you know how sensitive democrats became after benghazi some eight or nine years ago. you can understand what the decisions that the commanders on the ground were trying to make here and they decided to
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go ahead and protect the embassy near the international airport. wasn't the best scenario. one runway as opposed to two. not secure, isolated like you had if bagram. these were the choices they were facing. then the commander-in-chief threatened by the taliban they'll unleash hell on either american forces or afghan citizens if we don't meet the deadline of august 31st. as you go back over the moments over the past two months that appears a likely scenario that i laid out. >> sure, but it shouldn't have come to this. a couple of years ago when our emotion bass knee baghdad was threatened. the president picks up the phone, called chairman milley and said we aren't losing the embassy. whatever it takes. we had ospreys and alerted the 82. brought in a delta squadron. he made it clear to them. the president should have done
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the same thing. he isn't listening to military advisors and doesn't care. he hopes it will go away. my concern now what's happening out there he is really put the military hanging out on a rope by themselves. it is terrible out there. it shouldn't have come to this. it is a lack of presidential decision making in a crisis. the fact is that you have got kamala harris in singapore, they should be right here in the situation room with the president. i will tell you, i know for a fact that if we had a crisis, the president and the vice president were side-by-side. >> dana: general keith kellogg, thank you. >> bill: come back soon. thank you for your time today. great thinking pieces today. >> dana: bill mcgurn in the "wall street journal" he was a speech writer. joe biden rushed the afghan pull-out for a speech he wanted to give. in three weeks we'll mark the most deadly -- taliban will be
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whooping it up in kabul. what can joe biden's speech writers come up with now that won't make it worse. >> bill: saturday morning 9/11 here in new york. >> dana: fox news alert now keeping an eye on the white house where the president is talking with his g7 allies in a meeting right now. that comes as the taliban just doubled down on the withdrawal deadline one week from today. what will we hear from the president? we're back in a moment to preview.
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are you a veteran, own a home, and need money for your family? newday usa can help. we earned a lot of va benefits with our service, but the va home loan benefit is a big one. by refinancing up to 100% of your home's value, you could take out $50,000 or more. you could use that money to pay credit card debt and other expenses, plan for retirement, and get back on your feet financially. call newday usa right now. >> bill: thousands of americans now and other allies still trapped in taliban territory trying to get out. fox news has successfully evacuated some of those who helped with our coverage over the past 20 years. but many more remain and their future is uncertain. greg palkot picks up part of that story now live in london. >> that's right. tales of hope and horror are now coming from afghanistan.
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the pace of evacuations is picking up but many thousands who remain in kabul now run by the taliban including many who have helped the u.s. military over the years including translator haz aoem. tracking his progress. turned away from the airport. hiding because the taliban raided his home. he fears for his life as well as his wife and four children. watch this video message we got a short while ago. >> i have the feeling that this is a city of walking dead and a ghost season. you cannot predict their situation. >> definitely in the line of fire women. images of taliban beating women as they tried to leave. when we were in kabul last month we profiled brave female activist. listen to the audio message we got this the same woman. >> if you see the crowd around
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the airport, it is more and more and more. it seems that taliban wants delay for the people because they want to take their revenge. >> after being abused by the taliban she got out as have many thousands now including, as noted, a group of people who worked for fox news. this network, like other media organizations, helped organize a flight for them over this past weekend. in words taliban he messaged to me it is a great feeling. many more need to fell that. >> bill: greg palkot watching that in london. thank you, greg. >> dana: president biden right now consulting with world leaders in a virtual meeting of the g-7 as his national security team heads to capitol hill to brief congress on
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afghanistan. any minute we expect to hear from an update from the pentagon. president biden's top spy william burn met in secret yesterday in kabul with the top political leader of the taliban. president biden faces international pressure to extend his self-imposed deadline. that is where we begin a new hour of "america's newsroom." i'm dana perino. >> bill: i'm bill hemmer. race against the clock. the whole world is watching and the taliban calling president biden's deadline a red line. next tuesday, a week away, the white house confirming the administration is consulting with the taliban in every aspect of the chaotic evacuation efforts in kabul. former national security advisor on our program slamming the way the commander-in-chief is handling all of this. >> i spent 1,461 days in the west wing under president trump and vice president pence. i saw a lot of crisis
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management. we went through a lot of christs during the four years. you have to be personally engageded hands on. a lot of times we were chasing the president and vice president because they were in front of us and wanting to reach out to leaders and talking to leaders and you don't see this. it is a disconnect. you almost get the feeling they will ignore it after 31 august. >> bill: karl rove on the white house messaging. chad pergram on the hill where lawmakers are furious over the operation on both sides now that the taliban is calling the shots. leading us off this hour from the white house and the north lawn we'll say hello and good morning to peter doocy. >> hello and good morning. part of the commander-in-chief's calculation here is that the u.s. may not have to worry about extending the deadline to evacuate americans from afghanistan because he thinks that they may all be out by the end of the month anyway. >> the president believes we're making substantial progress,
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dozens of flights, thousands now, tens of thousands of people evacuated from the country. we believe today will be an efficient and effective day and tomorrow and the next day as well. he is taking this day-by-day and make his determinations as we go. >> the french don't think that's a possibility. ahead of the meeting with the president and other leaders the french foreign minister said we're concerned. more time is needed to complete the current operations. the biden administration is claiming two things that appear to be in conflict right now both that there is a serious threat posed by isis to the kabul airport and that nobody sheltering in place away from isis is stranded. but ultimately they are relying on the taliban for permission to do anything. >> the strongest military in the world is being run by a bunch of thugs right now. the tail wagging the dog and the world is laughing and our
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administration and colleagues across the aisle are dancing and having parties of their own while americans and sivs and others who desperately want to escape sharia law, who want to escape for their life back to america. >> g7 leaders meeting is happening right now. president biden logged into the videoconference at an auditorium at the white house campus. we expect him to wrap up the meeting with a set of formal remarks and he is reportedly sometime today going to decide either we will stick to the august 31st deadline or we're not. bill. >> bill: wonder how that g7 meeting is going? >> dana: lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are voicing anger over the administration's handling of afghanistan as the house is set to get a closed door classified briefing on the security team in efforts to get americans and allies out. chad pergram is live on capitol hill with the latest. they are ready to get more
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information, chad. >> that's right. the briefing starts in 25 minutes and here are the big questions that lawmakers have. what went wrong? is there a threat to the u.s. once american forces depart? what happens to u.s. military equipment left behind? and most pressing, how do we get people out? there is lots of blame to go around. >> we live in a time where every politician and everybody is so tribal they try to say our side is not responsible, the other side is. both sides in this case are responsible. republicans and democrats have failed to american people on this. >> phone lines at the capitol are ringing off the hook. lawmakers scrambling to assist americans in afghanistan and those who helped u.s. forces. intelligence committee chairman adam schiff is skeptical about getting everyone out by the end of the month. >> i think the threat to the airport is very real and very substantial. it's a very real risk i think to our aircraft and to our personnel, to people who have congregated around the airport.
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whenever you have a mass gathering like that it is an opportunity for improviseed and other explosive devices. >> schiff and intelligence committee got the first classified briefing about afghanistan last night. fox learned that members were not told that c.i.a. director william burns met with taliban officials. the briefers today are secretary of state tony blinken. defense secretary lloyd austin, mark milley and director of national intelligence haines. >> dana: we'll keep in touch with you today. americans trapped in afghanistan behind taliban lines are begging for help to get to the airport in kabul. the white house, however, is pushing back on the notion that any americans are stranded. watch. >> first of all, i think it's irresponsible to say americans are stranded. they are not. we're committed to bringing americans who want to come holmstrom. >> there are no americans stranded is the white house official position on what's happening in afghanistan? >> i'm calling you out for
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saying we're stranding americans in afghanistan. >> dana: let's bring in karl rove. to put on screen for everyone to see headlines a couple hours after that briefing here is one. pentagon confirms latest mission to rescue americans stranded in kabul. "new york times" also talking about needing to go into kabul to extract stranded americans and allies and cbs talking to a family stranded there as well. again, the mainstream media is using that word stranded. just get your overall thoughts today where we sit. a lot of news happening right now. >> look. the white house is once again demonstrated its tone deafness on the whole aware. one thing if it was sort of an out of the blue but we've had the president of the united states say he is unaware of any criticism by foreign leaders. we've had the white house and the department of defense and state department unable to even say how many americans are stranded. and then for jen psaki to attack a reporter for raising
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the question about stranded by saying it's irresponsible shows how out of touch they are. that's a problem for an administration in the middle of an international crisis like this to look like it is out of touch with the reality of the situation. and they are. they are completely out of touch with the reality of the situation that we face as a country in afghanistan. >> bill: the latest news of the past 30 minutes the taliban is saying no extension, which means next tuesday is the deal if that holds up. at some point we'll learn what the c.i.a. director talked about in his meeting to a degree, i would imagine. but if the deadline for a week from today hold up, lucas tomlinson is saying 6,000 troops need to start evacuating this friday. which would mean 72 hours from now we are starting to roll this thing up and get out. >> yeah. we don't know how many americans are stranded. they say tens of thousands of people are being taken out. we don't know how many of those are americans and don't know
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how many of the special visa holders, afghans who acted as interpreters and aides to americans who are at risk of being slaughtered by the taliban, we don't know how many of those are out there who haven't been able to make their way to the airport. it is hard to believe we will be able to get even a substantial number of them out. this is a debacle. let's not kid ourselves. it is a debacle of our own making. you mentioned earlier bagram. think about it. the one thing keeping the taliban from moving throughout afghanistan and taking over provincial capitals and steam rolling their way back into power was american air assets at bagram who could rain down hell from above and they knew it. what was one of the first things the biden administration did? withdraw our air assets at bagram. it's astonishing. who planned this and who was in charge of this? what kind of questions did the president ask? when we final of this there has to be a top to bottom review.
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it speaks to significant weaknesses inside this administration that we're seeing in other things like in the immigration, like on the economy, like on covid. a weakness in the administration of the power of the executive which has got profound consequences not only for afghanistan but for other great challenges we face as a country. >> bill: all the issues you listed off there, karl, the media is giving this administration a pass on all of it. it was only eight days ago on monday morning where things changed because of what we watched in kabul. >> i couldn't agree more. but again if you start to look back at it, the tone deafness we saw on immigration, we saw on afghanistan. the lack of planning we saw that on covid where they set a goal and didn't have a plan to reach that goal of 70% of vaccinations by the fourth of july. and an inability -- the president doesn't seem to either be briefed or doesn't seem to be able to retain what
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he is being briefed about. and there is certainly nobody in this administration is cracking the whip saying what's the plan? have we subjected it to review? are there tough things we need to have the president make a call on? there doesn't seem to be any of that at all. they go from jerk from ciels is to crisis. they've bendickson fitting from a media not willing to question them. when they get questioned we get jen psaki saying it is irresponsible to question us about stranding americans. everybody who is watching this knows americans are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to get to the kabul airport in order to get themselves on a plane out of the country? we know that for a fact certain. >> dana: people getting on the phone to let us know that. i wanted to ask you about this. video over the weekend of chuck schumer dancing with steven colbert at a fundraising event. nancy pelosi at a napa fundraiser. i'm not against people having a good time but there was a heaviness over the weekend.
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senator tom cotton and his staff worked all weekend to try to help this young guy we've been talking to from fox and friends get out. and that's what they decided to do with their time. >> yeah. well, it is tone deafness. each one of them probably has a plausible explanation of why this is longstanding on their schedules or steven colbert sort of jumped up and got schumer to do it. but again lack of sense of where we are as a country. a profound moment for our country. our adversaries, our great power adversaries china and russia are swooping in to take advantage of this. our enemies in the war on terror have won a great victory. the world is looking at us and finding us to be a feckless, unreliable ally. we haven't consulted with our allies.
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it doesn't seem the ruling party of our country understands what a grave moment we find ours evers in. they go off to the concerts in new york and napa fundraisers and white house press briefings. >> bill: when you were at the white house the media wasn't on your side. push back. >> dana: a little bit. >> bill: when the media is on your side on just about every issue across the board you get a feeling you are wearing kevlar and you can do whatever you want, do you not? >> dana: karl has no experience with that feeling. >> bill: when this happens and they all turn on you what's the effect of that? >> well, i think we saw it with jen psaki. it was a fox reporter asking the question but it was like how dare you. this is -- how dare you raise a question about the profound greatness of the biden white house at this important moment? and we saw it in the president's comments. the president was out of touch with reality. that is dangerous for the
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country. and it has profound implications for where we go from here because something needs to change. something in the structure of the white house, something in the attitude and the manner and the practice of the president need to change if -- we'll confront other challenges like this in the years ahead and what this has revealed is this white house is not up to the task. >> bill: thank you, karl. we'll speak later in the week. didn't want to put you in the way back machine. >> dana: karl doesn't know what that feels like. thank you. >> bill: twitter facing backlash for still allowing the taliban to remain on its platform. the others censoring conservative voices. what's up with that? this is from june, watch. >> the future of afghanistan could be a bright future but they'll have to fight for it. ultimately it is their fight. >> dana: senator rand paul saying afghans should fight the taliban on their own. with all that's going on now does he still stand by those
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words? the kentucky republican will join us live next.
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>> dana: breaking news for you. house republicans are on the hill now urging president biden to extend the august 31st deadline. listen to michael waltz. >> clear and briefed us repeatedly the taliban taking over means al qaeda 3.0 comes roaring back. except now we're in a worse position than we were before 2001. we have no bases in the region, our local allies are being hunted down as we speak, and as you've heard today, the taliban are going to be armed to the teeth so that when future american soldiers have to go back in to deal with the problem, and deal with the incompetence of this administration, how many are going to die? now, because they will have to
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fight their way through our own equipment, our own damn equipment, to deal with al qaeda 3.0. are we going to have a post nightclub and san bernardino and 9/11 because of that incompetence? this congress is going to lead. our offices right now are operation centers calling gate guards, calling kabul airport, guiding people through, telling them how to avoid taliban checkpoints. our own congress. it's unbelievable the lack of leadership. so i 100% agree that blood is and will be on joe biden's hands and this congress will hold him accountable. thank you very much. [applause] >> i want to thank my colleagues who are doing just what congressman waltz talked about. my office is doing it as well. there are many people up here who have gotten 100, 200, 300
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people out of afghanistan. i give you guys a big shout-out. afghanistan is a beautiful country if you take the taliban out of it. the people that i worked with when i was there are amazing. i served in one of our nation's tier one units. i was there when pat tilman was killed. i will never forget for as long as i live that flag draped coffin going through a cordon of some of our nation's most elite warriors and there wasn't a dry eye. i have other friends that are not with us. i see their children in my town because i serve the community of fort campbell. i have to look them in the eye when i'm back in my district. let me say this to every afghan
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veteran. your service was not in vain. your service was not in vain. [applause] to those children, those gold star children and families, your sacrifice protected america from a terrorist attack for 20 years. what happens from now on is on joe biden. just as my colleagues have said, the blood of americans are now on his hands. the blood of our allies are now on his hands. my colleagues have said a lot of things i won't be redundant. one of the points i want to make, i want to ask is who is advising this president? because what the president is saying, we all know it's inaccurate. he said the other day no one advised him not to pull out. we know that's blatantly false. mark milley has been saying don't pull out. add to the force.
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so who is telling this guy it's okay to pull out? or is he being intentionally deceptive? or does he really even know what's going on? he said the afghans don't want to leave, remember that in his press conference? there are already 18,000 that applied, 53,000 family members applied. he said the afghans don't want to fight. guys, gals who served with these guys they're warriors, aren't they? they want to fight. but when you walk away in the middle of the night in bagram airfield and they show up and go hey, where did the americans go? you think they have a will to fight? do you think they will feel like they are support evidence by us? this is the kind of war they fade into the background in order to survive. not like me, when i left to go to afghanistan, my family stayed home. their family is in the country.
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they don't want them beheaded. so they -- when we abandoned them, they pulled back. they want to fight. it is a lie to say they don't. who is advising this president or is he being intentionally deceptive? we need to know. thank you. [applause] >> look, i made multiple trips to afghanistan and i saw the consequences and the sacrifices that took place. i saw people that would never come home to their families again because they died on foreign soil and people who lost their arms and legs and paid a priels for what was going on. we betrayed these people now. the biden administration betrayed these people. we have betrayed all that they worked so hard for. i will speak as a doctor that serves on the armed services committee and doctor that served in the war in iraq and
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afghanistan. i will tell you right now that we need a commander-in-chief. we do not have a commander-in-chief and haven't had one from the beginning here. people say all the time there will be time for finger pointing later. we needs to happen next right now but we're at the very beginning of this crisis that biden has created. he cannot handle it. he is not prepared for this. he is not cognitively fit to be our commander-in-chief right now. that is evidence every single day more and more. we need his team and him resign. let somebody else to lead this operation, somebody with the will and cognitive ability to make this happen and is competent in doing so. we need a commander-in-chief. thank you. [applause] >> bill: these are veterans from the war, right? voiced some of the feelings and thoughts they've had for some time. >> dana: house republicans who gathered together. you talk to these members of congress and they have a message and want to stick to it
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and have talking points they want to get out. not so today. members of congress speaking from the heart especially there you saw michael waltz and mark green really -- they're mad. >> bill: kentucky senator rand paul is with us now. in your home state of kentucky. do you channel some of the anger and emotion we're hearing there? >> i think it's hard to a imagine a more incompetent withdrawal with the biden administration totally screwing up the withdrawal. there is a lot of blame to go around to both parties. the important lesson to get here is not that we left too soon, that we stayed too long. we put hundreds of billions of dollars into this country and they fought for a week or less than a week. most of them didn't fight at all. they laid down their arms. they expect us to come back and do the fighting for them. i have a different take on it. nation building doesn't work. hundreds of billions of dollars and they fought for less than a
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week. i think we should have been gone 10 years ago, 15 years ago. really we should disrupt threats to attack us but we shouldn't go around the world trying to create nations. afghanistan has never been a nation, a collection of tribes. they were killing each other before we got there and kill each other after they got but dispickable to encourage them to flee the country. people in congress said we need to take 70,000. 70,000 of the best people and like the west leave what does it leave over there? the taliban. it would be like after 1812 james madison saying well maybe we should just go to france. they burned our white house. maybe we should go to france. no, where are the afghan fighters? people say all their fighters? they are laying down their arms and giving their weapons. >> bill: i understand the sentiment but all in a vacuum sounds good if you go back in time 10 years ago but you are dealing with a different
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reality now. and -- >> the thing is they've had plenty of time to prepare for this. it didn't come along precipitously. we've been talking for leaving for years now and turning over more and more responsibility to the afghan armies and years to patrol the cities and they did not fight when push came to shove they laid down their arms and ran. >> bill: the simple question are you okay with the decisions that president biden has made then? >> i think biden did a terrible job in the withdrawal. no. it wasn't executed very well at all. we did need to leave. there has been a consensus for a decade or more to leave. the problem isn't in leaving. the problem is we stayed too long. the longer we stayed, the more the expectations were. but the more complacent the afghans grew as we fought their battle. year after year we dpot their battles and they had to step up. when time came instead of james madison or monroe rallying the
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troops in 1812 the guy got on a plane and flew out immediately and left the country and all his soldiers laid down their arms. we were encouraging this two months ago when we were encouraging the best and brightest people in afghanistan to leave. we were encouraging it was inevitable two months ago when everybody in congress was saying we must have all the good people in afghanistan leave. instead of saying let's rally them to fight. we've been working with them for 20 years and they chose not to fight. >> bill: some of the members of congress want family members beheaded. president biden changed keystone, paris climate deal. he could have changed this and chose not to. >> right. i this i the withdrawal, the organization of the withdrawal was completely incompetent and could have done much better to protect american lives on the way out but a complete failure of our intelligence community
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not to realize the afghan army wasn't equipped to fight. how demoralizing is it to those for nation building that after 20 years and all the weapons and all the training that they still chose not to fight? we had 300,000 supposedly between the poils and the army and 300,000 melted away? probably not more than 10,000 taliban in any one place and they threw down their arms? this is an indictment of nation building. we should learn not to do it again. >> bill: we have a mess on our hands now. senator rand paul, thank you for your time back in the state of kentucky. >> dana: we'll head back to house republicans on capitol hill. >> the country working with the afghan army serving honorably. if there was going to be a pull-out of the country we should have gotten every american out first. should have worked to get all of our allies out helping men
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and women in uniform and the military equipment. bagram would have been a place to do it. he abandoned all of it. a lot of questions need to be asked and answered with candor from president biden and we have yet to see that. i would encourage the afghan people. if you give people a taste of freedom, which we've done, they won't give up that freedom. for many afghans today they only know freedom. for over 20 years. so to think that the taliban will be able to come in and go back to the barbaric days of the past, i think they will recognize there will be a rise and ultimately resistance to their form of government and tyranny. >> what exactly on numbers -- [inaudible]
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if there is an extension in place, without knowing the total scope of people still left in country, what is your recommendation? how long to extend it and -- >> the first thing that needs to happen is president biden needs to come clean with the total number of americans that they know are abandoned behind enemy lines. they have a lot of those numbers. they won't share them with us or the press. part of it is they don't want to be held accountable and responsible for what they did. again, the president's job, you go back to the 1950s, the buck stops here. president biden said that actually about a week ago and then he went off blaming everybody else. ultimately it's his decision. he has to own this. he has to own up to the american people. how many americans are over there? he knows the number. he just doesn't want to share it with the american people. i thought he campaigned saying he would be transparent. he is not. and he owes it to those families to let them know he
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knows who their loved ones are and that he is spending every day to get them out. he has been spending the last two days on the telephone threatening democrats to vote for tax increases. why isn't he working the phones to get americans out of afghanistan. it is a national and international disgrace. we're working hard to find out that answer. congressman waltz has legislation to get an accounting of all americans left behind. >> bill: these guys are hot on the hill. down the road we go to the pentagon now where the major headline from the taliban is that they're saying no extension of the deadline a week from today. let's drop in and get reaction there live at the pentagon. >> the count of 21,600 individuals leaving afghanistan in just 24 hours. to date 63,900 american citizens, nato and other
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partners personnel, afghan, siv applicants and vulnerable afghans are out of harm's way. now safer and on their journey to a better life. the majority of these people, approximately 5,000 -- 58,700 of them have left just since august 14th. i want to reiterate that we were able to achieve this level of increased departures because of u.s. military personnel and our partners work around the clock conduct this highly important mission including airport security and flight operations. to that end we see increased pace in the flight schedule at kabul. as of yesterday in the last 24-hour period one aircraft left on or about every 45 minutes. as we look beyond kabul and in order to maintain a steady flow out of afghanistan, we rely on the intermediate staging bases
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and safe havens in both centcom and the yu com aors. we've been focused on bl capacity while rapidly processing and facilitating on ward movement. it has been challenging to keep up with the flow. we've made progress in caring for and safeguarding these vulnerable individuals and getting them moving onward. we are committed to doing more. and to continue to expand and improve our facilities from adding shelter to additional sanitation, hand washing stations, refrigerator trucks providing cold water and appropriate food and working with our partners to increase this capacity as soon as possible. in the u com afghans have started departing to onward destinations. five aircraft and 800 travelers who are screened and cleared
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for entry departed for the united states. u com received nearly 8,000 evacuees and considering installations in germany, italy, and spain in preparation to receive more flights to allow greater through-put to the united states. as i mentioned yesterday, the number of temporary safe haven locations across europe and middle east stands at 14. this allows us to expedite movement out of kabul and gives us flexibility from these intermediate staging bases. we're appreciative of the support in this global effort from our allies and partners. we remain focused on the mission of bringing as many people home as we can and as quickly as we can. update on north com operations. in the past 24 hours, four flights landed at dulles
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international airport. passengers and families will go to one of four military installations designated as processing locations. all this progress stems from the teamwork and professionalism especially of our interagency partners here in the states. we know more hard work remains. personnel in afghanistan remain vigilant and we share the sense of urgency in this effort. we'll continue to keep you updated on afghanistan through the week. lastly, as we look at haiti, the department of defense continues support relief efforts in haiti. over the last 24 hours joint task force haiti conducted 56 missions, assisted in the saving of 40 lives and delivered more than 35,000 pounds of goods, supplies and medical supplies to the people affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in haiti. four, united states marine
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corps ospreys arrived to provide additional options for personnel and supply movement. these air assets are in addition to the 18 u.s. military and coast guard aircraft already supporting humanitarian relief operations. u.s. maritime vessels continue support also. that concludes my report. >> before we get to questions i have a slight update on the baby count. as the general let you know yesterday, three babies total just to clarify, one was born on the c-17. the one i think you guys know about. the other two were born shortly after arrival at ramstein at the hospital there on base. two were born in the hospital shortly after arrival. i'm told that moms and dads and babies are all fine and healthy
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and all is looking good there and if we can get more information on this, i'll be able to provide it later. >> john, a couple of questions. i know you won't be able to answer whether or not the deadline will be extended beyond the 31st but can you give us some perspective from the military. can you get all americans out in the next several days by the 31st? do you need more military bases in the united states to house them and more through-put to get it done and do you need to increase the pace? and the other day the general told us there were 2500 americans got out. that number has increased over the last several days. about how many have gotten out so far? americans. >> okay.
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the deadline. i will miss some of these so walk me back. you are right, there has been no change to the timeline of the mission to have this completed by the end of the month. we continue to make progress every day in getting americans, as well as siv applicants and vulnerable afghans out. you heard the numbers that the general briefed just a minute ago and the vast majority of these individuals are afghans. so we remain committed to getting any and all americans that want to leave to get them out and we still believe certainly now that we have been able to increase the capacity and the flow, we believe that we have the capability, the ability to get it done by the end of the month. you asked for i think bases here in the united states was
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another one of your questions. >> do you need to increase the number? >> that is possible that we might be looking at additional u.s. military installations here in the united states. right now we are looking -- working with four of them. fort lee, fort mccoy, fort bliss and joint base mcguire in new jersey. the four operating now and beginning to see a flow of siv applicants. it is very well possible that we could need to use additional u.s. military installations here stateside as we make those decisions and as we're able to announce them we certainly will. we want to make sure just like we wanted to make sure in kabul that airlift wasn't a limiting factor, we want to make sure when we get these individuals to the united states that temporary safe, secure, and
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accessible temporary lodging is not the limiting factor to get on and finish the process and get on with their lives. >> the americans, general at one point said 2500 had gotten out. what is your assessment now as to the number that have gotten out of afghanistan and do you think you can get all of them out? >> i'll answer the second part of that. for all americans who want to leave, the state department is working very hard to contact them and we are getting them out every day. and that's not going to change. i understand the question about the specific detail. i would just tell you that several thousand. we know several thousand americans have been safe life evacuated from afghanistan. i understand it is not the degree of specificity you want but it's as far as i'll be able to go today, several thousand. to include several hundred just yesterday were able to get onto
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the airport for follow-on transportation. every day we're moving americans out of the country. >> do you anticipate that you will be able to keep up the pace, another 20,000 in the next couple of days to maybe have 100,000 evacuated before the end of the week? >> that's definitely the plan. but as you know, the through-put is a function of many different factors including even weather. so our plan is to continue this pace as aggressively as we can. you heard the general speak to that specifically yesterday. that's the goal and intention. >> the babies that were born on the aircraft and on the u.s. side of the military base are they considered american citizens? >> good question. i don't know the answer to that. i will probably have to punt to my colleagues at the state department or immigration. i don't know the answer to that. just to remind you, one born on the aircraft in flight.
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two born a ramstein. if i can get you any more details i will. >> [inaudible] >> i don't have any announcement on future installations that might be of use. we'll do it in a rolling fashion if and when we decide we need additional installations we'll let you guys know as soon as we possibly can. >> has the u.s. started preparations to leave in order to leave by august 31st? when does the u.s. military have to begin making those preparations and when does that decision have to be made? >> i'm not going to get into a specific tiktok. we were very careful about the details we provided before. the threat environment is very
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real around the airport so i will be equally as judicious about the kind of information we give out. roughly speaking you need at least several days to get the amount of forces and equipment that we have at the airport to get that safely and effectively retrogradeed. i won't get into a specific tiktok. this will be the pace and whatever the daily extraction is going to be, that will be up to the commanders ton ground to determine what they will move and how and when they'll do it because we have a mission to continue the evacuations. you have to be able to do both. it is a balance. the secretary will trust the judgment of our come anders on the ground. >> we are still aiming toward the end of the month. >> are the public statements by the taliban the same as the private statements being made to u.s. officials about the
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deadline and when the u.s. should leave? >> the taliban have been clear about what their expectations are as well. >> public and private statements are the same? >> i'm not seeing much dissonance. >> bill: can you give anymore details of a second fire fight outside the airport and some arrests by the taliban of some so-called isis people taking videos of the airport? >> i don't have those details. we are working with centcom now. that's currently ongoing. i know centcom is continuing to do that and there is no security, if you would, breach or any problems there at security of the airfield. >> providing any intel to the taliban about an isis threat? >> commanders on the ground continue to communicate to
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insure that the safety of not only around the gates but the other checkpoints so that we can continue to process vulnerable afghans, other coalition folks and american citizens in. >> when this evacuation began there were already close to 1,000 u.s. troops at that airport. so just to be clear, when we're talking about pulling u.s. troops out, we're talking about pulling all the troops, so you go to zero at the embassy, is that correct? >> i followed the question. that's correct. >> you have to take out more than you put in. >> yes. >> so how does that happen without the active cooperation of the taliban to keep the
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crowds away as u.s. troops first thin out their perimeter and then pull back? how does that happen? >> i will let the general take that. he is much more informed than i am. the larger issue that any retrograde out of or drawdown out of an environment that you can't assume is always going to be permissive is one that has to be done very carefully and sequenced in a methodical way so the safety and security of our people and the people we're trying to protect is considered of paramount importance. and so we aren't -- i'll level set with you now we won't be able to tell you once we start to affect this withdrawal and
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like i said we're still planning on the end of the month. we won't be able to provide a tik tok every day what we're moving out and at what pace so we can limit vulnerabilities in the information space and the actual physical space of the airport as we move out. it is all done in a very careful, methodical way to preserve as much capability to the very end as you need as well as security. not just the security for our folks but the security for the people we are trying to safely evacuate. i'll turn it over to the general in case he has more detail. >> you covered that very well. i would add to that is security is paramount during any phase of an operation. so as you look at as we go forward here, the commanders are going to continually communicate, coordinate, to insure that security is set to allow all those flight operations, all those things to continue to the end.
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>> does the methodical, orderly withdrawal that he just referred to, does that require the assistance of the taliban? >> it requires the coordination that i think we are doing right now to maintain that security. >> there is no question that, david, as we work through this, the daily communication with taliban commanders is going to have to continue. that is just a hard fact. >> does their promise of cooperation expire on august 31st? >> i'm not going to speculate or even speak for them or for their intentions. we are again -- the mission has been to end on the 31st, that's the assumption we're working towards and we'll just have to keep moving forward. >> thank you.
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any additional air evacuations in the city of kabul? have they done evacuations outside the city of kabul? there are still lots of americans aren't even in kabul. >> i will let the general take that. >> when you talk about evacuations you mean going out and -- we continue to closely coordinate to insure that safe arrival of americans and others on the airport. we have not gone any further air operations this time but we continue to insure the capabilities that we've had and as required that we are able to do so. >> is there a plan in place to help extract americans who are outside of kabul at this point? >> we are always planning and assessing what needs to be done to help americans get to kabul
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airport. >> i haven't gone to the phones at all. let me start doing that. i need my glasses again. jack. >> i'm just wondering do you have a specific update on the through-put now? you have obviateed the 5,000 to 9,000 number. you mentioned the 30 he vacs but is there a specific update what your goals are for daily through-put? >> as you go back to what general said last night and right now the pace, the through-put that we're able to maintain as i said earlier is about a plane every 45 minutes. but also that is also driven upon the requirement of what needs to be taken out. so right now we assess that we have the required -- not only u.s. military but you saw the numbers of our coalition and other partners that are coming in.
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we assess that we'll be able to maintain the through-put that we've seen the last two days and then we'll continue to assess what those requirements are from here forward of what we have to get that through-put into kabul. >> so you are looking at about 20,000 per day? >> actually we are trying to get as many out as we can. and so if we can exceed what our previous expectations were and we have over the last couple of days, that's a good thing and we'll continue to drive at that. >> is the intention to get every american out who wants to leave plus as many siv holders or applicants or is it to get out all americans plus as many afghans as possible by the august deadline? >> the americans that want to leave as fast as possible. as many as our siv applicants
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who we can get to the airport and get them out as fast as possible. as many vulnerable afghans that we can also work towards getting. but we understand the challenges of time and space here. we are mindful of that. that's why we are trying to continue to keep up this capacity and even improve it if we can. >> you said you have to ability to get all americans out who want to leave, several thousand. do you have a percentage for how many americans, have more than half been removed? >> i can't give you that number because i don't think there is a perfect number that we know with certainty of all americans in afghanistan. there is no requirement -- you can't force an american, when they go to a foreign country, to tell you that they're there. we encourage them to do that. the state department has a
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robust set of communication vehicles at their disposal especially in a country like afghanistan. we want to know when americans are there but they don't have to tell us. that's why it's difficult for us to give you the denominator here, how many are there and what i can tell you is -- this is out of my lane but i'll do it anyway. the state department has been working very hard to reach out to those who they know are there or even who they hear are there, to communicate to them, let them know what evacuation plans are possible and achievable for them. so they are working very hard at this. our job at the defense department is to help facilitate them, their safe passage to the airport and then getting them manifested and getting them on a plane out. >> more or less than half of the americans registered been evacuated? >> i do not know. you would have to go to the
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state department for what they think they have on the registry. even they would tell you it's an imperfect database because not every american has to register so it is perfectly conceivable that you might have an american who nobody knew was in afghanistan but still pipes up on the net and says i want to get out. we'll help that person get out to the best ability that we can. >> i don't really understand this. this is the answer we've gotten for days and days and days from every podium in this town. even if this administration does not have the denominator, that is not my question. my question is can this administration tell the american people how many americans it has evacuated from afghanistan? and if you cannot, can you please explain not the denominator, why can't you just say the number? >> i think we are going to leave it at several thousand right now. i understand it is not a satisfying answer to you. i would tell you that the
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number literally changes almost by the hour. >> so does everything else? >> we'll leave it at several thousand for right now. >> may i have a follow-up since everybody else had like eight questions? thank you. i have two other follow-ups if i may. just to clarify, if there had been no missions outside of kabul can you tell us about missions that have taken place at least outside essentially the central of the airport? my other follow-up is as you prepare to depart, whenever that happens, your previous retrograde as you called it included provisions for destruction of weapons in place. can we assume that this part of the effort to leave afghanistan will also include that what you cannot put on an airplane, any
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weapons you can't put on an airplane or dangerous items you would destroy in place? >> there is no other additional operations to speak to. we continue to facilitate safe passage. >> there are no additional operations to speak to that i'm aware of outside the airport, either. but we continue to facilitate safe passage for americans and sivs as they need to get to the airport. as i mentioned, i can tell you several hundred americans have made it safely to airport gates for further-on transportation. >> bill: u.s. government assistance. >> i will leave it at that, barb. as for your question on retrograde, the short answer is yes. as a part of any retrograde.
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that's a technical pentagon term. the drawdown of both people and equipment will be done in the same manner that we would do it anywhere else. obviously there is a strong bias to be able to get our material out with our people. if there needs to be destruction or other disposition of equipment there at the airport we'll do that appropriately. >> can i ask you about the bottleneck? you got 20,000 people out in the past 24 hours, a big number. do you have 20,000 people now inside the airport to get out in the next 24 hours, or are there bottlenecks preventing
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