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tv   Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer Dana Perino  FOX News  August 26, 2021 6:00am-8:00am PDT

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>> so much breaking news and we'll have more tomorrow and thank goodness it's friday. >> brian had a suggestion. book a leprechaun to come on. >> speak out about being used. >> watch me on radio fox nation. >> bill: good morning as we begin our 9:00 hour here. startling statement from the u.s. embassy in kabul overnight warning americans at the airport to leave now because of security threats. one of the many headlines we'll get to as we begin this hour. bill hemmer live in new york. >> dana: i'm dana perino, "america's newsroom." last night i was reading through some things and got a note from my friend the statement department said leave the airport. that might be fake, right, that the taliban is doing? but no it was real. >> bill: it's true. >> dana: here is where we stand at this hour.
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the embassy is warning. >> bill: the window for americans and afghans to escaping quickly closing after the president refuses to extend the deadline past next tuesday. >> dana: one image capturing the desperation people holding up travel documents outside the airport. they have the documents and begging for a trip to freedom. >> from vietnam here is kamala harris from overnight. >> our highest priority now is evacuating american citizens and evacuating americans who worked with us and afghans who are at risk with a priority around women and children and we have made significant progress in that regard. >> dana: all right. we have team coverage. arkansas senator tom cotton will yoin us in moments. lucas tomlinson and let's beginning at the state department with griff jenkins. the statement last night, where did it come from? >> good morning. that alert last night is
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anything but fake. we are now on high alert outside the kabul airport as senior u.s. official confirming to our colleague jackie heinrich the threat of a vehicle bomb or suicide bomb from isis k or another affiliate is being measured at more likely than unlikely over the last 24 hours. and british defense officials warning it could possibly happen within hours. this after the state department alert issued last night telling americans heading to the airport to turn back adding because of security threats outside the gates of kabul airport, u.s. citizens who are at the abby gate, east gate or north gate should leave immediately. kabul is now under taliban control. >> we're operating in a hostile en vierinement in a city controlled by the taliban with
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a possibility of an isis k attack. it is very high risk. >> blinken says they are scrambling to get roughly 1500 americans stuck in afghanistan who want to get out, though the secretary believes the number is lower emphasizing the actual number nruk waits but suggests they don't have an exact handle on how many could possibly be left behind with just days to go in the contingency plan to get anyone out past august 31st is wholely dependent on the taliban. as for a diplomatic presence after august 31 they are looking at a series of options. we hope to hear more about those plans at a briefing today as well as the reports of some two dozen california area school children
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stuck over there. afghans resettled in california trying to travel back over the summer to visit families. we have to learn more about their fate later today. >> dana: for those at the airport holding up documents, i understand some documents haven't proven to pass the muster but they cannot be considered some of the ones who did not want to leave in the final count. thank you, griff. >> bill: thank you. numbers are staggering, many simply not known. we're told about 1500 americans remain in afghanistan. there are new estimates that say there could be as many as 250,000 afghans who worked with u.s. forces left behind. the focus has been on kabul. a vast country, however. lucas tomlinson picks up the coverage at the pentagon today. >> good morning, bill. over 600 u.s. troops have already departed kabul. officials say the u.s. military mission will end in the next three or four days as many afghan interpreters and their families will be left behind. >> they said my family and my brother they were trying to go
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to the airport but there was lots of taliban checkpoints that they couldn't make it to the airport and he got beat up. then they go back home. >> evacuation flights out of kabul beginning to slow down. over 13,000 people made it out yesterday. 6,000 fewer than the day before. overall more than 95,000 have been evacuated since august 14th, the day before kabul fell to the taliban. $800 million u.s. embassy in kabul abandoned and the taliban are providing safe passage to americans. but some wonder if that's the case, there are still dangerous helicopter missions. >> last night during the period of darkness, there was an operation to be able to go out and safely evacuate people back into kabul. >> a veteran in the ranger regimen described the scene at
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the airport to try to rescue friends and allies. like trying to pick up someone who doesn't speak your language and only one door is open. the place is on fire. i'm not a religious person but the word that comes to mind is biblical. of course, a reference to the french massacre in vietnam in 1954. president biden pledged the u.s. would expand their perimeter. today all gates are closed and many afghans and families will be left behind. >> bill: is there a briefing in 90 minutes or not? >> yes, with john kirby and hank taylor. the big one at 3:00 general kenneth mckenzie, the head of u.s. forces in the middle east and afghanistan. >> dana: more stories and pictures creating a show of consensus on capitol hill. both parties blasting president
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biden's handling of the crisis. we have to take a moment here. what you and your staff have been doing amongst other people on capitol hill is tireless trying to help people get out and you should be commended for that. here is biden, blinken and psaki all yesterday. take a look. >> president biden: our first priority is getting american citizens out of the country as quickly and safely as possible. >> the president has made clear, our first priority is the evacuation of american citizens. >> right now our focus and our priority is getting american citizens evacuated and afghan partners evacuated. >> dana: get your reaction to all of that, senator. >> well dana, of course we have to focus on getting american citizens out. i'm skeptical that there are only 1500 americans left. it wasn't long ago the state department was giving us estimates like 10,000 to 15,000 american citizens. two hours 1500 americans.
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his own staff briefed aides and said it was 4100 citizens. they didn't get 2600 out in the span of two hours. we still aren't getting straight answers from this administration in part because they're so hell benlt to leave on tuesday. evacuation flights are probably going to stop in effect over the weekend. and i'm afraid they want to be able to say we offered everyone a flight. if they didn't make it, it was their choice. they decided to stay behind so they don't have to take responsibility for their late and disorganized planning for this withdrawal. >> dana: the photo of empty flights yesterday. just to pull that up for you because look at that, guys. >> bill: senator, a lot of people are trying to make sense of this and we are, too. but it seems apparent that the president has wanted to bring this to an end so he can turn his attention away from
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afghanistan and put it squarely on the domestic agenda here at home. and i don't think it's much more complicated than that damn the consequences along the way. do you see it otherwise? >> no, bill, i don't think it is. reasonable people can disagree about the decision to withdraw troops from afghanistan after 20 years there. no one can agree joe biden executed that decision well. chaotic, disorganized and slap dash from the beginning. his white house seems to be treating it like it's just a bad news story after a gaffe on the campaign trail and they can grit it out and headlines will change. the headlines they want back in the news is what nancy pelosi was talking about this week, the 3 1/2 trillion dollar taxing and spending bill. if our troops are gone tuesday and there are00s if not thousands of american citizens and green card holders and how
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many afghans risked their life who have been approved by our government to get a visa and come here. it won't be a bad news story you can walk away from. an ongoing catastrophe. >> bill: the point to be made this is the plan and this is how it's playing out here. >> dana: i was going to point out there was news i think that would be very good to get your reaction to. a taliban spokesman to nbc news regarding what actually happened in their mind on 9/11. >> there was no proof he was involved. now we have given promises that afghan soil won't be used against anyone. >> you still don't think osama bin laden carried out 9 lev. >> we have no proof he was involved. >> dana: senator. >> the taliban has not changed its colors. they may be on their best behavior in front of the cameras but that behavior isn't very good from the video of
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taliban goons beating people at the airport. around the country it's worse. after americans are gone it will become worse yet. they have not renounced al qaeda. continue to harbor terrorists. afghanistan will go back to what it was before 9/11, a sanctuary for foreign terrorists to plot and ultimately launch attacks against americans. except the taliban will be in a stronger position. they control all of the country. they didn't before 9/11. they have all that weapons and equipment they seized and they have the prestige of forcing joe biden to run from afghanistan in the face of their capture of the entire country in a matter of days. >> bill: i would encourage our viewers to check out the interview with richard engel. it is stunning when you think 20 years later and the taliban's position now with al qaeda linked up yet again. we don't have a ton of time. important question. what do you know from your office as to progress or what still needs to take place based on requests you are getting?
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>> we still have american citizens struggling to get out. green card holders. people one step away from becoming a citizen free to live and work in the united states are told don't come to the airport. we treat migrants at the southern border better than green card holders. please don't give up hope. continue to contact our office. a lot of other congressional offices are working on this issue as well. there are a lot of people in congress no matter what joe biden does that won't walk away from afghanistan and fellow americans on tuesday. >> bill: thank you for your time. bravo for the work you're doing. thank you, senator tom cotton there. canadians are out and days before we're out as well. >> dana: yes, also before they left they actually ran special forces into the city to get their people out. they had the permission from the canadian government to do that. >> we found this in the "wall street journal." this is yesterday in kabul.
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169 americans rescued. great news. this is how they had to do it. they flew three chinook helicopters, giant aircraft. they flew them 200 yards from the airport in order to get the rendezvous point for the 169 americans to take them over the wall of the airport to get them out. 200 yards was the distance they traveled. really gives you a sense of what's happening here. >> dana: it probably felt like 2 million yards in terms of -- >> bill: very true. you hear isis k, koreston. we hadn't heard of this group for a couple of years. they were dissolved in our memory bank. they hit a school in may in kabul and killed little girls. they compete against the taliban and they're back. isis-k is because of the power
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vacuum clear for the world to see what's left behind in afghanistan. briefing at 10:30. carry it live from the pentagon coming up here. in the meantime fox news alert. disturbing video after a man shot and killed a young father protecting his son in miami beach. what happened here? what the cops are saying about the suspect's condition in a moment. coming up. >> dana: democrats are nervous that a republican could actually win the very deep blue state of california. >> bill: the scramble to get out of afghanistan before the deadline of next tuesday. we'll talk to someone on the ground working around the clock to get people out of the chaos and possibly save a lot of lives. >> they're paying this everything is hunky dorey picture. the reality is different on the ground and being briefed differently behind closed doors. the newday two and a quarter refi has the company's lowest rate in history.
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>> bill: thousands of afghans trying to get out of the country before the window closes. a group of military veterans called digital dunkirk to help people get out. commander stern, what have you been able to do so far? >> thanks for having us. we're happy to talk to you today. we are on the northern border of afghanistan. for security reasons i can't tell you exactly where i am because there are threats everywhere all shapes and sizes. we've been able to facilitate one way or the other rescues from all over the country. digital dunkirk is a grassroots coalition of veterans and gold star families and humanitarians.
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no real leader but it's important to highlight this is all unofficial. we have no ties to the u.s. government and the goal is to evacuate americans, siv afghans, interpreters, afghan army guys fleeing the country. >> bill: i have a ton of questions after that rule. whose equipment are you using, commander? >> we're -- i lead a thing with two of my good friends called project dynamo. myself and my good friends are privately funded using private everything. every expense so far has been put on our credit cards. equipment is -- we brought back at rei. totally self-funded in every aspect. >> bill: kind of like how the war started 20 years ago with special forces on horse back going through northern afghanistan.
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how do you communicate with people in the country? how do they reach you, commander? >> a whole slough of reasons the three of us lead the thing called dynamo two and really what it is, it's the air bridge of the northern corridor. so what happens is we sat down and figured out that kabul was going to fall and we didn't want -- many would be left behind. this was unacceptable to us so we looked at human and physical terrain and figured the northern corridor would be the best option for those left behind to get out. >> bill: how many have you been able to get to safety? >> i really couldn't tell you. we have some that we brought out through -- we brought people out through all manner of mechanisms through phone calls at the gate at kabul
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airport and all kinds of other ways. i wouldn't want to get into the details again because there are people looking for us. >> bill: how can we help? >> we need to raise money. nobody pays for a seat, nobody at all. so if you are an evacuee, american, siv applicant, whatever you are, nobody pays for a seat period, the end. however, helicopters cost money, planes cost money and pilots cost money so we're fundraising. our website is project we're 100% privately funded but we need fuel. we have maintenance problems and all kinds of issues. it is an austere and challenging environment from every aspect. political to tactical not to mention the threat piece. not to mention the transportation. >> bill: we have been hyper focused on kabul.
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it would be most appropriate to point out that afghanistan is a country of 34 million. it is vast and areas it is very difficult to travel, and although the emphasis has been on the capital city, give us a sense of how much need there is required in these other cities. >> the need is tremendous. afghanistan is like you said a large place with diverse terrain. desert, mountains, cities, all kinds of stuff. to get from kandahar to mizar is like saying walking from atlanta to new york. it's a hard journey and a hard task not to mention that most travelers are traveling with wives and children. if you are an afghan army soldier you aren't alone. one person is actually five people. we're coordinating an effort right now with 500 afghans as we speak as i'm talking to you right now.
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>> bill: commander, you are doing god's work. thank you for sharing your story. be well, okay? we'll get the word out for you. lieutenant commander cameron stern in the northern part of afghanistan location not fully disclosed >> dana: wanted to show you this. just to put a little point on this. this is the white house press secretary yesterday talking about why some people might not want to leave afghanistan. watch. >> some as secretary blinken noted are people who may not be ready to leave for a variety of reasons. maybe they have an extended family, extended family there. maybe they spent their entire lives in afghanistan and haven't made the decision to depart. maybe they're working on a range of projects. it is also their personal decision on whether they want to depart. >> dana: want to point out something. there is a policy, not a law but a policy that let's say you were an intereter and you can bring your children but not
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your parents. look, i understand, can't bring everybody, right? when they talk about people making these decisions, think about that. would you leave your parents if they were targeted? or if you thought you could save them? it's a policy that could be changed. >> bill: we will have to do a deep dive on what the department of state told all these people in afghanistan. because blinken yesterday said we told you and it is not on us, it is on you. we warned you. that really seemed to be the message he had yesterday during his briefing that was delayed. >> dana: a lot of people read state department cab uls. just kidding. we'll move on. new concerns afghanistan could become a outbed for terrorists with america heading for the exit in five days. what will it mean for the risk of another terror attack on u.s. soil? babies born on u.s. planes fleeing afghanistan raising questions over citizenship. andy mccarthy reacts. >> being a female and being
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and even his kids. and their kids. usaa is made for all who've honorably served and their families. are we still exclusive? absolutely. and that's exactly why you should join. >> bill: here in new york the clock is running and chaos not limited to the airport in kabul. new video showing a sea of people gathering at the pakistani border. desperation growing by the day for after began east to get out by any means possible. a report from the region now from trey yingst. hello there. >> good morning. due to security threats outside of kabul's airport, the u.s. state department is once again telling american citizens to shelter in place. u.s. and british officials were made aware of specific threats by isis k against the airport. no further details were provided though the timing could not have happened at a worse moment. according to u.s. secretary of
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state antony blinken there are still 1500 americans inside afghanistan. a number of european allies of the united states say they'll stop flights out starting tomorrow night as the u.s. troop drawdown begins. yesterday scenes outside the airport showed thousands of people waiting to be evacuated wading through sewage and climbing over walls trying to get inside. pentagon says more than 13,000 people were evacuated in the past 24 hours alone. bringing the total since the taliban took over to more than 95,000. with the airport becoming far less accessible afghans are fleeing on foot. people rush the border with pakistan trying to escape the taliban. entire situation creating a new humanitarian crisis as the u.n. warns afghanistan could run out of food by september. we did speak today with the executive director of the world food program who said this. >> i see it firsthand when we're not there and when we're not there, many of these
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countries the extremist groups, terrorist groups come in and exploit and use food as a weapon of recruitment and a weapon of war. we use food as a weapon of peace. a weapon of hope. >> today is thursday. on tuesday u.s. troops are supposed to wrap up their operation on the ground in afghanistan. there are still thousands of afghans and american citizens stuck there. no plans on what exactly will take place after that deadline expires. >> bill: thank you, trey yingst back in doha again today. >> dana: terror groups taking to social media. the collapse of the country is sparking concerns it could become a safe haven for terrorists with one common interest, a hatred of the united states. andy mccarthy led the terrorism prosecution against the blind sheik and history might be repeating itself. what do we need to know? >> what we need to know, dana,
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is that al qaeda has cells in lots of different countries in the world. but what makes a real difference in terms of our national security is whether it has an operational military partnership with the host regime. and that's what it had in afghanistan at the end of the 1990s. i think because we're in a time that's imminent to the 9/11 20th anniversary observance, solemn and important, we the end to think of 9/11 almost as if it were a one-off when in fact al qaeda had safe haven in afghanistan from 1996 through 2001. as soon as it got there under the protection of the taliban, it declare war on the united states. by 1998 it bombed our embassies in east africa, 1999 it almost sank a u.s. destroyer. in 2000 it did bomb the u.s.s. cole and kill 17 sailors,
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almost sank the destroyer and then 9/11. so this is the lesson here. it is not so much cells. they have cells in a lot of places but if you give them time, space, sanctuary, places to recruit and operational partnership with the government, you are asking to be hit. >> bill: it's a stunning thing to think you were involved in the prosecution 25 years ago. you are deeply involved in this. long before 9/11 in the cole off the coast of yemen prior to the election of 2000 in november of that year, but now you have all these headlines now afghanistan's conquered. islam won. hamas is celebrating, islamic jihad is celebrating. el shab yab is celebrating. all the cells active around the world. the terror groups around the world patting each other on the back. what did you learn from 25 years ago that may portend as to how or what they could do
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next? >> yeah, it's an enormous coup in terms for fundraising and recruitment. my time was -- the world trade center was bombed eight years before 9/11. when i got to deal up close with terrorists and with informants and with people we interviewed, what i was struck by was they believe in their bones that they are responsible for the collapse of the soviet union. they were absolutely convinced of it. you couldn't tell them about ronald reagan or the u.s. defense build-up or internal run of the soviet union. they think they did it and they turn the jihad global and always thought they would defeat us. and that is what they're taking away from this. when they they look like they're the strong horse, that's when you get more recruiting. it is when their fundraising takes off.
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when really they get much more aggressive. you have to keep -- it is very hard to do what we have to do, be vigilant, gather intelligence and try to strike them before they hit us. every now and then we get weary of it. >> dana: right. and they say you have the clock but we have the time. i wanted to ask you just a quick reaction to the fact the taliban spokesperson told richard engel of nbc news they don't think bin laden had anything to do with 9/11. >> it's not surprising. that's the propaganda they've been spouting for 20 years. president bush in 2001 into 2002 asked the taliban to turn al qaeda over to us and that was their story. show us the evidence they had anything to do with it when bin laden was taking credit for it. >> dana: great point. thank you so much. >> bill: we will revisit this topic again and again
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unfortunately and i know you are aware of that. thank you for commentary again. pentagon said to give us an update on afghanistan 50 minutes away. we'll bring it to you live. another briefing later in the afternoon as well as lucas tomlinson reports. not just republicans. some democrats delivering a hard message to president biden. what have they said to him and heard in return? that's coming up as our coverage continues. >> there was democratic pushback, there were democrats that were angry and democrats demanding we abandon this arbitrary taliban-demanded august 31st deadline for surrender and where were those democrats on the house floor? mm. [ clicks tongue ] i don't know. i think they look good, man. mm, smooth.
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>> that we aren't getting the straight answers from this administration. in part because they are so hell bent to leave on tuesday which means evacuation flights already slowing down and probably stop in effect over the weekend. and i'm afraid they want to be able to say that well, we offered everyone a flight. if they didn't make it. that was their choice. they decided to stay behind in 1/2 so they don't have take responsibility for their late and disorganized planning. >> bill: it feels like hours the meltdown in afghanistan.
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two democratic house members say they urged the president to push back the deadline of next tuesday but didn't get very far. our next guest is another democrat none too happy with how this is playing out. connecticut congressman jim hines. himes. thank you for your time. how hard and how high have you pushed at levels of the administration? >> well, i'll tell you there was a very strong and is a very strong bipartisan sentiment. bipartisan sentiment the objective has to make sure that we don't leave people behind. and that an arbitrary deadline that is important to the taliban is something that must be negotiated away if it means that we would leave in particular americans behind. i say in particular americans behind because nobody wants to see a hostage scenario. it is also true that there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of afghans who worked with us. there is no way they are all
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getting out. probably by late september even. so the key here is to establish with the taliban a process whereby everybody gets out in a safe way. doesn't need to mean we have 10,000 troops on the ground in kabul but we need a process that everybody who should get out gets out. >> dana: the poll this week only 26% of americans approve of the way it has been handled. you mentioned the interpreters and on april 14th, you put out a statement saying we have a responsibility to protect afghans who helped military forces over the past two decades. many of them are not going to get here. do you hear from veterans who are just distraught about this? they believe that many of these interpreters saved their lives and that we are absolutely not doing the right thing here. >> well, it is not a veteran thing, it is an american thing.
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if you helped us, helped our military, whether it was a success or failure. if you made our mission possible we have an obligation. that's not a partisan point, a veterans point, it is an american point. obviously that question is in jeopardy of whether we'll be able to do that. the other fact is, the number is something like 80,000 in 10 days. 80,000 people have been taken out. that's a pretty good record. not to say there is not accountability to be visited probably on both the trump and biden administrations for how it played out over the last two or three years but the important point here and the point of focus. >> bill: the number of americans in the group is in the single digits is what we've been told here. democrats this week came back to washington for 24 hours and they passed this blueprint on 3.5 trillion dollars. i think a lot of people watching the story they think what is that about? are you tone deaf what is happening from overseas?
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perhaps it is not being tone deaf at all. perhaps this is the plan, get out of afghanistan, put the focus back on the u.s. and work in the fall to pass $5 trillion in new spending bills. is that becoming more clear to us now that that's what the president has planned here? >> you know, that's almost a little insulting, right, to suggest that we're somehow holding an orderly withdrawal from afghanistan hostage for partisan aims is frankly i would hope beneath this network. the truth is congress can chew gum and walk at the same time. and so what this is about is doing all that we can as we did to push the president to do what must be done in afghanistan even as we don't forget that in america today people are hungry and don't know whether they'll be able to have childcare so they can go to work as covid recedes. 3.5 trillion plan, who knows what its size will be in the end is addressing the kitchen table needs of the american public. the idea that we shouldn't
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address the kitchen table needs of the american public by providing better healthcare, by providing childcare, that sort of thing is as i said before just a little bit insulting. >> bill: okay, maybe you could do it with less than $3.5 trillion then. >> maybe so. that's what congress will be debating in the next couple of months. >> bill: thank you for your time. breaking news. jim himes democrat from connecticut. back to the big news in kabul. we're hearing about an explosion that has just taken place at the airport in kabul. the warning we're getting late last night and overnight and admiral john kirby sending out a tweet a moment ago. read it off the screen. we can confirm an explosion at the airport. casualties are not clear at this time. we'll provide additional details when we can. there were concerns about a terror group known as isis k out of the region in
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northwestern afghanistan moving into this area here and there has been a power struggle between the taliban and isis k for sometime. they're competing parties to the islamic terror world and the worst possibility appears to have happened here, dana, an explosion outside the airport. don't know how many afghans were there. video showed afghans -- i poll guys. taliban forces firing tear gas into the crowds of the people still stranded outside the gates to disperse them. all the terror warnings that have been reported over the past 12 hours appear to have taken place there at the airport in kabul. >> dana: jim himes was gracious enough to stick around with us. this note from the state department came out last night saying you should leave the airport immediate vicinity as quickly as possible and the intel might have been unfortunately very good.
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anything else you could tell us about that? >> well, only that this was a risk -- i don't think any of us really know since this is a breaking story exactly what happened at the kabul airport. what i can tell you, it was a risk that the secretary of defense and secretary of state and the director of national intelligence was very focused on. you don't need a lot of imagination to understand it wouldn't be hard in a chaotic situation which isis, isis and taliban fight each other. for isis to want to take advantage of this situation and again the security people were very worried about a terrorist act outside the gates. we'll have to see how this develops but this is one more area in which we as repugnant as they may be will need to work with the taliban to make sure that that area around the airport is secure. >> bill: sir, thank you again. stand by. jim himes, congressman. lucas tomlinson reporting the following. explosion outside abbey gate.
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last night lucas reports there were 5,000 afghans and potentially some americans outside that same gate. the explosion unclear how big comes hours after the state department warned americans outside to quote leave immediately due to the increasing terrorist threat. also lucas reports the secretary of state blinken said yesterday there was a very real possibility of an attack. that's in the pentagon. we should get a briefing in 35 minutes. back to doha for trey yingst. what have you heard? >> good morning. we're following this breaking news out of kabul right now. reports of an explosion outside of the abbey gate, one of the main three gates on the ground there at the airport in kabul. remember there were thousands of people lining up over the past several days trying to get out of the country not just afghan civilians but also foreign nationals including american and british citizens.
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isis-k a small organization in eastern afghanistan. this is an offshoot of the islamic state that started back in 2014 responsible for a lot of attacks in afghanistan especially from 2015 to 2017. some reports indicate upwards of 250 attacks both shooting and explosive attacks against afghan and pakistani civilians during that time period. the afghan security forces when they were in control of the country oftentimes would launch operations against this group. we saw images in recent months in cities like afghanistan where they took out many of the extremist fighters. over the past several days we heard concern from american and british intelligence a small organization when it comes to extremist attacks. specific threat. it led the u.s. state department and what's left of
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the embassy in kabul operating out of the airport there to urge americans simply to shelter in place. they had been issuing these orders every so often over the past week following the taliban takeover of afghanistan because there were concerns that american and any civilians could be targeted on their way to the airport or outside these gates. remember when we look at these type of attacks you have a large group of civilians in one area and also foreign soldiers including americans outside of these gates trying to keep some sense of order and this was the exact piece of possibility that u.s. officials were concerned about. part of the reason we heard the pentagon and department of defense try to ramp up evacuations in recent days. in the past 24 hours more than 13,000 people evacuated that according to the d.o.d. and it brings the total to 95,000. certainly some progress but we do know there were those thousands of people outside of the gates of the airport. when you hear reports of an
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explosion and small arms fire you have to think about where this was located. we were on the ground on sunday in kabul and as we were there you could hear gunfire in the distance. there was smoke rising up from the horizon. the area around the airport was secure to an extent. the perimeter was established by the americans. beyond that it was pretty much no man's land and that was the area where u.s. intelligence officials were specifically concerned that not taliban fighters but isis k militants could simply walk up to a crowd of people like we saw these images and detonate some sort of device. we don't know a lot of details specifically. reports on the ground indicate a large explosion outside of the abbey gate at the kabul airport happening just this hour and reports of multiple people injured as a result. >> bill: back to you in a moment. coming up on 6:30 in the evening in kabul. sun setting now. in may of this year, we go back
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three or four months, isis k hit a school in kabul, a school for girls, killed at least 68 people, wounded more than 100. they are well familiar with the streets of kabul if it's confirmed this is the group. >> dana: get to the white house now with jackie. >> good morning. we're just learning more about that explosion the pentagon confirmed happened outside the airport. the extent of that right now is unknown. i'm told by a white house official that the president has been briefed on this. this is exactly what folks have been warning about. we saw those reports coming in overnight, a senior u.s. official confirmed the report to me that the threat of a suicide bomber or a vehicle bomb by isis-k or another affiliate had been measured as more likely than not over the last 24 hours. and the british foreign -- armed forces minister told the
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b.b.c. it could happen within hours. we have seen it come to pass. overnight the u.s. embassy told americans not to come to the airport gate to be aware of their surroundings especially in large crowds. they tweeted due to threats outside the kabul airport, u.s. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport. those at the abbey gate and north or east gate should leave immediately. the warnings come as the u.s. is conducted limited covert missions to rescue 500 to 1500 americans who remain in the country. several other countries have been completing their last evacuation flights. overnight vice president harris spoke in vietnam. listen. we don't have the sound bite. the president is sticking to the self-imposed august 31st withdrawal deadline as last we knew. he has asked the state department and pentagon for contingency plans to continue the u.s. military presence in
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afghanistan should the mission not be completed by then. yesterday he received his first briefing on what that would look like and separately he also asked for contingency plans to evacuate people after august 31st if the military is no longer there. administration has continued to say the agreement with the taliban for americans to have safe passage is broadly working. they've been refraining from using language with harsh rhetoric threatening overwhelming force as some of the detailed reports have come in showing people having trouble getting to the airport. i'm told by multiple officials the goal has been to create conditions to allow for this evacuation to continue. so we're just waiting on the details of exactly what the impact of that explosion is. >> bill: to the pentagon we go. lucas tomlinson has reporting from there now. what do you have? >> our own jennifer griffin is reporting it was a suicide bomber who detonated a vest in
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a group of people. unknown number of casualties outside the abbey gates. one of the main gates manned by american paratroopers and marines. no reports of casualties at this time. of course, this comes just last night when there were over 5,000 afghans gathered at this gate desperate to get inside and get on one of the last evacuation flights. we'll get back to you as soon as we hear more. last night, bill, of course this comes last night the state department warned any americans outside any of the gates at the airport to leave immediately. so clearly there was intelligence out there that said this was coming. >> bill: you are reporting up to last night there could have been up to 5,000 afghans outside that gate. >> it comes from sources on the ground who told that to me last night, bill. >> bill: thank you, back to you in a moment. we expect a briefing in 30 minutes from the pentagon. we'll see if that timeline holds. >> dana: there has been an explosion outside of the
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airport. we have h.r. mcmaster well versed in all these issues and worked as a national security advisor for president trump. h.r., isis-k might be a little new to some of the people watching. might not be new to you, though. and we don't know what this explosion was. the extent of it, how large it was or who was responsible. what can you tell us you are thinking about this morning as this breaking news just happened? >> i think there are some important things to correct. some of the common misunderstandings about the nairt of isis-k and various groups. we try too hard to disconnect the dots. the number two person in the taliban, the military commander who put together this massive campaign. he is in charge of security in kabul now and what this network does is provide a bridge between al qaeda and the taliban. those two organizations are completely intertwined.
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the network specializes in two things. taking hostages and committing mass murder attacks against inoh center. i wouldn't be surprised at all if this isis k attack is a front for the taliban who are organizing the attack against us to humiliate us further after we surrendered to a terrorist organization. >> bill: tough to hear. yet it's true. >> there are consequences for lost work, we're operating under the assumption. >> bill: the departure may go on hyper speed now. continue. >> when you prioritize withdrawal over the achievement of any kind of a noble aim in war, this is what you get. it's what surrender is. that's what we've done, bill. sadly. across the last three administrations really. of course doubled down by the biden administration and setting this exact date and adhering to the taliban's date. in the rush to get out. closing all the air fields that
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we just controlled just a couple of months ago. it just makes no sense. but it only makes sense when you recognize that there are costs associated with surrendering to a terrorist organization. >> dana: what do you think would be in the military's mind? we are expecting a briefing at 10:30. they may have to push that back as there is breaking news and figure out what's going on. tell us about how you get our troops safely out of the area? >> well, it's really important, i think, to make a decision to provide the resources and the authorities necessary to defend yourselves. if you look at the situation in kabul. you have shown earlier in your coverage here the satellite imagery of the kabul air pofrment an urban area that comes up to the gates of it. it is not defensible at the perimeter. we decided not to offends the
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taliban and make it safe -- more safe for our soldiers but also for the innocents, innocent civilians and u.s. citizens trying to flee the taliban and get out. you are in a very difficult situation militarily. and i think that what's going to be very important is to give the resources and the authorities to commanders to be able to not only just defend themselves but what's the mission, right? is the mission just to get out? if that was the mission why didn't we do that without empowering the taliban on our way out, right? >> bill: i apologize to interrupt. you spent your life's work on this region of the world. and now you see the taliban that was vanquished 20 years ago coming back to power 20 years later more powerful wearing the military equipment that we made and shipped to that country for the afghan army to defend itself. that debate can continue in a moment. i want you to listen to the
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taliban leader on nbc earlier today. and it's a stunning thing to hear. what he said, sir, is that there is no proof that osama bin laden was responsible for 9/11. he said that with an nbc reporter today. how do you react to that? >> i'll tell you, bill, what you are seeing is the taliban is now more public relations savvy, right? you hear many i think some of our journalists and many of our public officials really buying into this narrative that maybe it will be a more benign taliban. we just had a suicide bombing potentially and reports are just coming in. the head of the taliban, to whom we surrendered in february of 2022, his son was a suicide bomber in a province in 2017 and he thought it was great.
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it was a great gift that he was able to give to the cause of jihadist terrorism. he is the military commander of the taliban and the main protector of the bin laden family until we killed him operating with the taliban. these organizations are completely intertwined. they share resources and expertise and now what we've done is we have, because of the psychological blows we delivered to the afghan government leading to the collapse of afghan security forces we've given them a country and a major safe haven and support base from which they can operate and they are declaring victory over us. they use this humiliation to gather more people to the cause. >> bill: i want to roll this quick so you can hear it from earlier on nbc. >> there was no proof he was involved. now we have given promises that afghan soil won't be used against anyone. >> you still don't think osama bin laden carried out 9/11? >> there is no evidence after 20 years of war, we have no proof he was involved.
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>> bill: it's jaw dropping and they're in charge now. please stand by in a moment. got more news to fit in here. stand by. >> dana: let's get to the state department. griff jenkins is there. do you have an update for us? >> we've reached out to officials here for what sort of further guidance they may be giving the americans, those 1500 that seem to be stranded wanting to get out. they haven't commented officially. the latest is a 15-hour ago alert sent out to americans and worth repeating what was in the alert that you mentioned at the top of the show. they are advising american citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates unless you receive individual instructions from a u.s. government representative and citizens at the abbey gate and east gate and north gate should leave immediately. we have this complex suicide bomber ied at the abbey gate. what instructions the americans
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are getting we don't know. it is clear now that they should not attempt in any way to get to the gate and that doesn't include, by the way, the afghan allies, the thousands we have talked about for the last couple of days that are simply abandoned. we have been tracking some efforts, private efforts for some of these afghan allies to get out. some that were unsuccessful yesterday and now we're in communication with that are simply feeling stuck with nowhere to go. another important point that we hopefully will learn more, dana, from officials at the state department today is whether or not the taliban will continue to honor their commitment. remember, secretary of state blinken yesterday telling us that private and public commitments from the taliban would insure the safe passage of those who wanted to get out. now this certainly makes it much more difficult to believe that the taliban is upholding their commitment on that.
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as you guys have discussed a little bit really we have to talk, when we talk about getting through these gates, it is the access to the gate that was the problem. you had americans and afghan allies that couldn't make it the 200 yards to get to the gate to get passage through. now something like this complex as a ied explosion and a fire fight happening at the abbey gate makes it impossible to move people. we are waiting to get more guidance on what they are advising americans and allies how to get there with just days to go before this deadline hits next tuesday? >> dana: thank you. >> bill: want to get on the phone now. we are joined by a gentleman by the name of carl. he is at the airport. sir, can you hear us? what are you seeing there? it's bill hemmer and dana perino. you are live on the air with us. what do you see?
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>> i am an afghan worked for the united states marine corps and i was ready to go and get close to the airport and get on a plane and get out of here. there was an explosion that happened inside the crowd. a lot of people got hurt and a 5 years old died in my hand. i don't know what exactly what is going on over there. i think some of the americans got hurt, too. and so people are running around and -- [inaudible] >> bill: keep going. are you saying a baby girl died in your arms? >> yes, i tried to help her. she was not my baby girl. she was somebody else's girl. i saw her on the ground and i picked her up but she died right in my hands at that time. >> bill: i'm so sorry.
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>> right now i have some casualties with me in my vehicle and i am taking them to the hospital. >> dana: can you tell me what you heard? >> they said there was a suicide bomb that happened inside the crowd. some people are saying that the u.s. they were shooting flash bangs and stuff and it might be they made a mistake or something. i cannot say what exactly happened but explosion was very bad and there are a lot of people got hurt. i got people in my vehicle and trying to take them to the hospital. i was wanting to get on the plane. i am trying to get out. i shouldn't be exposed but it is what it is right now. >> bill: there is a lot going on in your life right now
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understandably so. two questions. you said americans may have been wounded or affected as well. but the americans were inside the airport, were they not? so if that's the case, how would they have been hit by this bomb? >> no, so the explosion happened by a canal. americans were on the other side of the canal and checking people's passports and visas, they were checking them by the airport. that's why they were outside. >> bill: how many people are in your vehicle heading for the hospital? >> right now i've got two casualties and i got two other guys that are okay. >> dana: how many days have you tried to get out at the airport? >> since the taliban took over i have tried and tried and i couldn't -- i have applied for
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the visa for years and i have saved american lives so this whole process is very bad. and what they are doing right now, they accept those people who worked and so most of the people that they have inside they have somebody with a green card. they need somebody with a green card to help that person to get inside. so basically there are a lot of afghans who helped the u.s. and they don't know what they've got to do. >> bill: carl, we're pulling for you. thank you for being with us during a really tough time. and good luck to the people you are taking to the hospital there. thank you, sir. >> dana: thank you. >> bill: this is tough to watch here now. lucas tomlinson is reporting at least three u.s. troops have been wounded as a result. don't know the extent of the injuries, jennifer griffin is live at the pentagon. let's bring her in as we await
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more information. what do you have? >> we've just learned that at least three american troops were injured in the suicide bombing attack. a fire fight broke out we're told. we don't know whether thefrp marines or members of the 82nd airborne. we can confirm it did occur, the suicide bombing did occur at the abbey gate. afghan casualties and a fire fight bloke out. a complex attack from senior u.s. officials with sources on the ground we're told. we can report at this point there are at least three injuries to american service members who were standing at that gate guarding, trying to help check the paperwork of those who were coming through the abbey gates. the gates have been a target. there were intel reports that we have reported on and that the state department put out the alert yesterday that americans should not come to the gates, that they should
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withdraw back away from the gates. there has been concerns that isis or other bad actors who try to disrupt in these final days the americans pulling out so as to look as though they're pushing the americans out. right now scene on the ground chaotic but we can confirm three american injuries at this moment. >> bill: it is a quarter to 7:00 local time in kabul. a complex attack. the imagination runs wild. a complex attack it wasn't just a lone suicide bomber who wandered in a crowd. it was much more involved than that potentially. >> well, what we can report at this time is that there was a suicide bomber on foot and then there was a fire fight that broke out. it is clear that this was an attack that was -- we had the warnings. there were intelligence warnings. the military knew they had --
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they were working up against a clock. they knew that the enemy, the taliban, isis, al qaeda, they get a vote in this and they knew that every day and every hour that went on that's why they were moving as swiftly as they were and why you were seeing 20,000 people a day being airlifted out of kabul airport. they knew they were on borrowed time and this is the reason that the state department put out that warning last night telling americans not to come to the gates. again, the military and the state department working very hard to get as many people through those gates. and now it appears as if that is shut down and we've moved into another phase of this evacuation. >> bill: stand by one morning. the pentagon briefing happens in 15 minutes or when it does happen. h.r. mcmaster still with us. you've been paishent. -- paishent. patient. >> it will get much worse. what we have to remember is the
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network is in charge of security in kabul. you compound that with the 5,000 we made the afghans release from prison and compound that further with all the prisons being empty now of isis and al qaeda and the taliban. and so what we now have is a new epicenter of jihadist terrorism that is a great threat to the world. are we going to stop talking about we need to engage the taliban about the future of afghanistan and maybe instead engage afghans other than the taliban about the future of afghanistan and then really double down on our counter terrorism efforts broadly with partners. across the world. the situation will get much worse even than what we're seeing today. >> bill: everything you lay out is appropriate and everything you talk about is a decision that now goes to the commander-in-chief. how does he respond? >> we have the capability. the question is do we have the will, right?
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we defeated ourselves in this war. we defeated ourselves. the question is can we muster the will. will the american people demand more of their leaders that they actually in war try to achieve a noble outcome rather than surrender to a terrorist organization? >> bill: h.r. mcmaster we'll call on you again in the coming days. it is an eerie scene when you look at these giant cargo planes with night coming to kabul, afghanistan and getting the news up to three u.s. troops could have been injured. they are there to save lives and to help people find a better life for themselves. this is what the mission is. >> dana: want to save their lives. >> bill: and they've been victims as a result. >> dana: jennifer griffin said with this breaking news we have entered into a new phase of this situation. i think that's exactly right. so we'll continue to talk. we also talked to an
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eyewitness, one of our interpreters trying to get out since the taliban first took over kabul. he did not -- he was not able to get there but still helping people. >> bill: his name is carl. right now we believe he is at the hospital. with us now mark green joins our coverage. good morning to you. i'm certain you're watching the updates. your initial reaction to what appears to be not just the final days in afghanistan of a 20 years war but the final hours now. >> it's just gut wrenching. i'm getting calls from people at the gate. what i'm hearing is two different explosions that happened near simultaneously, 20 to 30 afghans are, non-americans and three americans wounded. we get calls like you got from carl there multiple times a day into our office and it is just gut wrenching and humiliating.
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i agree with h.r. this was a loss that this president foifted on our country. to think you could negotiate with people who already broke the agreement. this was a power sharing agreement and they took over the country. blinken wants to do more deals, trust them more. it's just absurd. >> dana: the c.i.a. director bill burns met with the taliban earlier this week. presumably to talk about the security at the airport but possibly to share intel about what could happen there and unfortunately this explosion proves that. what do you think of this administration, the commander-in-chief? the commander-in-chief, i don't know whether he trusts the intel community or not, trusts the taliban or not. at this point we had a global coalition and now it feels very much like america alone, sir. >> well, we know the italians
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flew an aircraft out this morning and it was fired upon from the ground. we still have friends there. they are just not coordinating with us because we're abandoning them, too. you asked specifically about the president. i think one of two conditions, one of two things are happening. he is either lying to the american people or he is so confused about what's going on in afghanistan and both of those scenarios are really, really bad. i can cite instance after instance where his own secretaries either state or defense contradicted exactly what the president said within some cases within minutes of him saying it. so this president is either intentionally being deceptive or he is lost. and both of those scenarios are unacceptable. and i am at the point now where the cabinet should step up. he can't be president. he should not be president. >> dana: we have breaking news. if you could stand by.
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jennifer griffin if you're there. >> we've just learned of a second explosion that occurred near abbey gate. this one is near the baron hotel where americans had gathered in the past for rescue operations. but i can confirm not only have there been american casualties among service members, at least three, but also now there was a second explosion. that is why officials were telling me this was a complex suicide attack that involved now we know two explosions. >> bill: you mentioned the barron hotel. it is 200 yards outside the airport. on thursday i believe up to 169 americans had assembled near that hotel. three giant chinook helicopters left the airport, flew 200 yards and picked up the americans and came back yet again. if that's how we're operating,
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we knew there was a threat on the ground outside the airport. >> nobody is doubting there was a threat. we've been reporting for days the state department and u.s. intel agencies had intelligence that isis and others wanted to try to disrupt this operation. they knew they were working against the clock and knew there was a threat. there has been a constant threat since they began evacuating afghans on august 14th. what we didn't know is when that attack would occur and that's why the military and state department were working as fast as they could against the clock and you have now 100,000 afghan evacuees since august 14th airlifted out. they knew this day would come. they did as much as they could before it came. now they are trying to mitigate the situation on the ground but what we can say right now is this was a complex attack. there was intelligence suggesting. they didn't know the timing or exactly how it would go down but isis had been threatening
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to disrupt this evacuation operation in order to embarras the americans and embarrass the taliban as the u.s. pulls out with the deadline. >> dana: pentagon will postpone the 10:30 briefing. what do you think is going on behind closed doors? >> people are trying to get information. first reports from the ground are often distorted. we don't know. we're getting realtime reports from people who are in touch with people on the ground and we're getting the latest. whatever they know right now we've brought to you but i think before they stand up at the podium they want to have more information. but it is very clear this threat is not over. there have been two explosions. at least one involving a suicide bomber, a fire fight broke out and you have american service members who have been injured. >> bill: are we able to say what impact this could have over our own withdrawal? >> i think it is pretty clear. >> bill: what happens over the
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weekend or even before then. >> i think it's very clear once an attack like this took place it would speed up the timeline for what they are now going to most likely i would guarantee you all the gates are closed to the kabul airport. those inside the airport will be evacuated. and they will begin drawing down troops. we know u.s. troops have drawn down by 400 in the last 24 hours to 36 hours. they knew they are in a race against the clock. any time you have a deadline, announced deadline like august 31st it puts a target and bull's-eye on the u.s. military as others as they try to evacuate. it safe to assume this is moving into the final phase of the evacuation and that sadly many people will be left out. will not be able to come through those gates, and there will be many deserving people who are on the other side of the gates we've been talking to them overnight and it is again the u.s. military working under very difficult circumstances
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knowing that this threat existed. they have gotten out as many people as they can at this moment. >> bill: this could be it. >> dana: thank you, jen. >> bill: this could be it as we're watching. >> i think it's safe to assume this causes the evacuation to move into its final phase. >> bill: two days ago you were on with dana and i'm quoting you now. you said we did not keep our promise. it is a national shame. >> i think at this point it is not the time for opinions. it certainly is gut wrenching what we've all been witnessing. military people are trying to get as many people through and many cases where they moved heaven and earth to get people through the gates. case upon case where rules were bent to get as many qualified afghans in need. the problem is you have 35 million afghans in need now facing life under the taliban. so they have been working under
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-- nobody has slept in the last since august 14th. so what i would say is that the time for going back and looking at mistakes made, there are plenty of mistakes made, not just under the administration. you can go back for four president sis. -- president sees. right now it's heartbreaking to think of the people caught outside the gates deserving of being able to leave and may be americans and have paperwork and right now security of the forces inside the airport, security of the thousands of afghans inside the airport is of paramount importance. >> bill: proud to work with you, jen. stand by at the pentagon. >> dana: thank you. we also have another eyewitness on the phone with us. his name is bill. bill, if you could hear us, could you tell us what you saw or what you're seeing now? >> yeah, i wasn't actually at the scene. just from what i heard.
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there was a suicide bombing at the abbey gate. barron gate and abbey are close to each other. injuries not confirmed but americans -- there have been american persons injured. again, there was a fire fight that broke out. this has been something that word has been out for the last few days that they were planning something like this from isis. the first thing that came to mind one of my first runs to the gate to take people across was this would be a perfect scenario for a suicide bombing and would just cause mayhem. you can imagine thousands of people packed into a small tiny area loaded with luggage. one person with luggage full of explosion can cause mayhem. this has happened this afternoon.
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numbers of death and injuries still not confirmed. i can confirm there was a suicide attack at the barron hotel. >> bill: i understand you are italian and you were not there at the scene when the explosion happened but you've been to the airport often and when you are coming up on nightfall what are the circumstances at the gate outside that point over the past week? >> it is getting worse and worse by the day. there is no more -- 1:00 in the morning is a safe time to go or 3:00 in the afternoon a safe time to go. people have been camping at these various locations for weeks on end, babies, adults, old people with all the necessary paperwork to get in but they cannot physically get to the gates. it is a mass of people trying to get in. of whom some of them have got all the documents. some of them don't have all the documents.
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i've seen a real -- i don't know what the words to describe what's going on down there and some people have been managed to get in and then once they're inside they feel safe but they still have to go through a processing period that could take a week and some people that got through require all the necessary documents and the processes took a week and get on a plane and fly out. so the backlog of people once they pass the gate, just a backlog of people that they could not process. there are thousands of people outside the gates waiting to get in. you have thousands of people inside the gates, waiting to get processed and registered and planes taking off at all hours of the day. a plane can hold approximately 800 people. these planes are going 24/7 but still a huge backlog of people
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across the wire or inside the wire as they say that are waiting to be taken out. >> bill: bill, how long have you been in country? how long have you been in afghanistan on this assignment? >> this is my third rotation that i've been in country. and when everything went out the window, the taliban took over or just walked into kabul, i think that caught everybody by surprise. so yes -- >> bill: prior to that how real was the threat of a suicide bomber during your time there? >> five days ago when i did my first run to one of these locations, the first thing that came to mind was this would be ideal scenario for a suicide bombing. but nothing happened until today but as i said, over the last couple of days the word out was that isis was planning
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something like this. i know the american state department did issue a couple of tweets for american citizens for everybody for that matter to stay away from these areas because there was a risk of a suicide attack. >> dana: bill, what will you do now? >> well, the roads have been blocked by the taliban. all access points to the airport have been blocked by taliban. we tried to go this morning. just blocked. the last couple of my people trying to get exited. they've all been blocked. up until yesterday the best way to get bus loads of people to the airport was with the qataris. they would have five, six runs per day, their armed personnel
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with convoys of buses to the airport. unfortunately yesterday afternoon we were on the 25th hour to get our load, 500 people in the convoy to go to the airport and all we received was a message that it had been canceled end of story. no further information had been forthcoming from the qataris. all the people involved are trying to reach out today to contacts to find out what's going on. if there would be a run today and what was happening. as i'm speaking to you now there has been no feedback from the qataris what is happening with the other runs. yesterday all -- >> dana: we have more breaking news we need to get to. bill hemmer and i just want to express to you we wish you the very best that you can stay
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safe and get to your next destination. thank you so much. >> bill: you be well there. the upper right-hand corner of the screen you saw some video clearly people getting out of cars and vehicles and into the local hospital there. griff jenkins we go to get more information as to what you are gathering, griff. >> state department just issued a new bulletin, alert for all american citizens in afghanistan saying this just nine minutes ago tweeting there has been a large explosion at the airport and there are reports of gunfire. u.s. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates. those at the abbey gate or other gates should leave immediately. of course news of a second explosion at the barron hotel area. we were tracking some afghan allies trying to get out of that area yesterday where there was a large crowd. this individual telling us that he couldn't get there. he had five children. the crowd was too aggressive.
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his wife he claims being beaten by the taliban. but this now with two attacks, explosions in the guidance from the state department they are clearly on a different footing in trying to get some 1500 possible americans that want desperately to get out, they are now in a position where they have to stay wherever they are because they cannot come to get through these gates with this sort of situation very fluid. we'll bring you more details if we get guidance on exactly what the state department is saying to the americans that they made contact with and what the contingency plan may be to get them out with the clock ticking and with this violence looking more likely to be a coordinated attack to send a message both to americans and afghan allies do not come. you are not getting out. we'll find out more as we get it, bill. >> bill: thank you, griff. you are very right about the lack of movement now that has -- you feel almost as if a lid
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has been put on the population in the capital city. reading from reuters now. this is what they are reporting out of kabul. the blast has killed at least 13 including children. and they are citing a taliban official. it reads an explosion outside the kabul airport killed 13 included 13 and wounded many taliban guards according to the taliban from kabul now. chad pergram is working his sources live on the hill to bring us more from there in washington chad, hello. >> the house and senate are out of session right now but certainly been dialed into situation in afghanistan here. i've talked to multiple sources here who were hearing reports about what we're told are multiple explosions. my sources are saying multiple suicide vests that might have sparked explosions and i'm told there is no safe gate at the airport. keep in mind there was an all-member briefing for all house members in washington on tuesday.
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the foreign affairs committee. afghanistan has been consuming congress. the phones and emails are on fire and members and staff are scrambling to evacuate americans and helpful afghans. a race against the clock. they were concerned about this scenario and why so many lawmakers are pulling diplomatic strings and working with contacts in the region to load as many people onto planes as they can. i should note you have had a number of members, the bipartisan problem solvers caucus which put out a statement overnight here and many members from both sides of the aisle who said look, we should extend this deadline so there isn't any firm deadline to get out as many people. the closer you got to august 31st it was always the concern there especially with these people massing near the gates for hours. people said get away, get away. this was also the concern raised by house speaker nancy pelosi yesterday when you had
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two members, who freelanceed and went to afghanistan. pelosi put out a stern letter yesterday urging thembers not to do this. she said first you take away resources and kevin mccarthy, republican leader in the house of representatives kind of admonished those members as well. you don't want to have members over there and then they get into some sort of hostage situation. imagine the scenario if you had members of congress on the ground as this was unfolding. i was told yesterday that there were a number of members who were hoping to go. this was after moulton and meijer went and came back and certainly after the speaker and other folks from the state department, pentagon and congressional leadership told people not to go they called off the dogs. as far as we can tell joe biden else has gone to afghanistan. >> from the hill, chad pergram. >> dana: jennifer griffin has more news out of the pentagon. jennifer. >> dana, what we have just learned is that it was three u.s. marines who were injured
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in this complex suicide bombing attack. as we've been reporting all morning we can confirm two explosions, one at the abbey gate, one near the barron hotel. those marines were not outside the airport, they were along that barbed wire we've been seeing and helping the state department as they check papers and kept the security at the gate. last night at abbey gate there was a crush, a sea of humanity described to me. 5,000 people, many, many layers deep trying to get in. they knew, the state department knew, the pentagon knew, everyone knew that was a race against the clock. that isis had threatened to set off these kinds of explosions at the airport, near the airport targeting afghan civilians as well as u.s. forces at the airport. they knew that. it's one of the reasons they were not sending u.s. forces
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out willy-nilly to make rescues inside kabul. it was not safe. the taliban had told them as much because remember, isis and the taliban do not get along. isis wants to embarrass the new taliban government as much as they want to make the u.s. look as though they're leaving under fire. so this intelligence everyone here in the pentagon and elsewhere in the u.s. government holding their breath as they knew they were trying to get as many afghans out as possible as humanly possible. this now 100,000 afghans have been evacuated including american citizens since august 14th. it's the largest non-combatant evacuation in u.s. history. the three u.s. marines, that's new information. >> bill: jennifer griffin from the pentagon. to the white house we go. peter doocy. >> we believe the president is in the oval office now less
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than an hour meeting with the israeli prime minister was here. concerns were rising that the u.s. military had with the operation and the taliban. the president said about the taliban, if they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the u.s. presence will be swift and response swift and forceful. we will defend our people with devastating force if necessary. that was about the taliban. it is unclear right now if that also applies to these isis k fighters if that is in fact who turns out to be responsible. we have multiple opportunities to see the president and also to ask jen psaki within the next hour and a half or so unless the schedule changes, bill. >> dana: peter, i'm just seeing here from reuters reporting saying that u.s. officials says
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u.s. casualty numbers are expected to increase according to initial information. this all feeds into the president's decision making as commander-in-chief? >> yes. and over the last couple days as questions have come up, two white house officials pointed out that they thought this operation, which they think will turn out being the largest airlift in u.s. history, has been nothing but a success. and this certainly changes that calculation. >> bill: peter, the white house briefing that had been scheduled on covid has been canceled. safe to assume this moves to the forefront of the concerns to the white house. at which point the president will speak we don't know. >> the covid briefing got moved from 10:30 to 10:45. other parts of the west wing apparatus are moving forward and they will have some senior
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officials explaining the latest on vaccination efforts here in four minutes. >> bill: not canceled, just postponed. >> we still expect that to go four minutes from now and i'm being told that any -- from a senior official here as i look at my email that any planning detail about what is going to come next or any response has to come from the defense department right now. >> bill: thank you for that. we expected the pentagon to brief at 10:30 and that's has been postponed. back to doha we go and trey yingst who picks it up from there. trey. >> good morning. a lot of questions right now about how these explosions in kabul happened. we heard reports over the past week and a half about taliban checkpoints throughout the city. so to get a car bomb to this location, as it is being reported or a suicide bomber to
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this location, how did that happen? that's the big question right now. who will be held responsible? yesterday we interviewed a taliban spokesperson here in doha and this representative of the taliban, when i asked him about this, said that he would insure and the entire group would insure americans could safely leave the country. we learned that three u.s. service members were injured in at least one of the explosions. so you have a big question of responsibility right now but when we go back to what american and british officials were warning about over the past several days it was a group called isis k, a group based in eastern afghanistan. a small offshoot of the islamic state responsible for attacks in afghanistan over the past several years. it was the group everyone was
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concerned about. they could target americans and afghan civilians trying to flee the country and create a chaotic stition on the ground. we were on the ground on sunday at this airport. inside the airport perimeter you had an orderly line of people. the americans set up a perimeter. this explosion, the one outside the abbey gate, took place right outside that perimeter. the questions are how did a suicide bomber get to that location to detonate and who is responsible for this attack? questions that u.s. officials right now are looking at but again the information coming out of the ground right now in kabul, afghanistan, two explosions, one outside the barron hotel and one near the abbey gate. both entrances to the airport where images indicated thousand of people were still queuing up trying to leave the country.
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>> dana: this is dana. in just a few minutes unless it is postponed, president biden is going to be meeting with the new israeli prime minister. the safety of the entire region is now in question. i wonder from your experience, having been in jerusalem for so long and covering that region, what this moment -- as jen griffin says, this whole evacuate moves into a new phase as of this suicide bombing. >> this moment could very easily define the history for the rest of the biden administration and for the foreign policy outlook that the entire united states of america has. you talk about the meeting taking place minutes from now between biden and israeli prime minister. they'll talk about foreign policy specifically the middle east and asia and how u.s.
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presence in different parts of the world plays a role in national security. the united states made a quick decision to withdraw from afghanistan and a lot of analysts saying that a quick withdrawal, a rapid withdrawal could be a very dangerous withdrawal. so you have to consider the fact that the israelis and other u.s. allies in the region will be looking at this decision and the consequences of this decision and wondering how much they can rely on the united states when it comes to foreign policy. we saw u.s. allies, nato allies of the united states, great britain, france, germany, urge president biden over the past week please extend the deadline. we don't want to rush the security process. we don't want to have these crowds of people outside the airport. they knew the threats were a real possibility. today with these two explosions on the ground in kabul, it raises a lot of questions about what happens not only in the coming days, but in the coming hours. there are thousands of american troops on the ground as we saw on sunday when we were in afghanistan. there were thousands of people waiting outside the airport to
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leave the country. and we're not just talking about afghan civilians. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken made clear yesterday there are 1500 americans still there. you still have americans in places that the second and third largest cities in afghanistan and throughout the country. this explosion at the airport not only a major indicator of the current security situation on the ground but a major concern for u.s. forces trying to pluck out americans trying to get into the airport compound and the afghan civilians who the biden administration promised safety. >> bill: one more question here. we know several hundred americans have flown out already. lucas has been reporting on that the past day or so. were you able to get a fix on how much equipment that was assisting the manpower at the base to get an idea for how long it might take to complete
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an evacuation there at the airport? >> look, we are now going into a period of retrograde for the u.s. military. they can't just pack up and leave in a matter of a day. it will take a number of days for the united states military to withdraw from afghanistan. today is thursday. withdraw date is tuesday. so u.s. forces will have to leave over the weekend and that's if they completely cease operations. there is no indication now that they'll stop evacuating people despite the two explosions. one interesting thing to note here and an important piece of context about the second explosion being reported near the barron hotel. this was the very location where last friday american helicopters flew a mission to evacuate 169 people. one of the first evacuation missions. the type of action that american troops will have to take if they really will secure
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the vulnerable americans spread out around kabul and around afghanistan. so you are going into a period right now of uncertainty. how long will it take the united states to leave and is it feasible to get u.s. troops out of afghanistan and fulfill the promise to remove americans who are trying to flee the taliban all within the next few days? >> bill: trey yingst reporting from the region. >> dana: it is interesting that the president is meeting with the israeli prime minister this morning because they've got some decisions to make. i don't know if he decides with the situation on the ground making any different decisions. >> bill: scanning the wires here macron is saying that the situation has gotten tense and also saying it is profoundly deteriorating in afghanistan. another one here u.s. officials says at least one of the troops injured was wounded seriously according to sources there in kabul.
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and just listening to how jen describes it now, if you have three main gates where people are being processed and you know the marines and u.s. soldiers who are there were hyper sensitive to the possibility that they weren't all friendly so you have to search them and pat them down and make sure that you are okay and they are okay to pass. now with this and night having fallen there in kabul, the three gates will be closed and will they reopen or have they closed for good? >> dana: let's ask jen griffin. you don't have that specific answer, jen. when you said that this is now entering a new phase i was really taken by that. >> it is safe to assume all the gates are closed right now and no more afghan evacuees will be coming through those gates. there are at least three gates. there were five last count. those would be secure right now. now the mission will be to get as many people out of the kabul
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international airport as quickly as possible. you had thousands of afghan evacuees on the tarmac. you have 5200 u.s. troops on the ground still. 600 have come out in the last two days but 5200 u.s. troops who are now quickly trying to evacuate those who are inside the airport. i think any thoughts of leaving the airport, any sort of rescue missions i would hazard a guess that is not happening. now in terms of americans still left in afghanistan, for the most part the problem for the state department, if you listen to tony blinken yesterday and the pentagon officials that i speak to, it is very hard to know exact numbers. the state department has been telling american citizens with passports to get -- to evacuate and get to the kabul airport for weeks, even weeks prior to the august 14th fall of kabul.
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so right now the question is how many americans are really left that want to leave that are not -- they may be safer, an american citizen a dual passport holder sitting in harrat may not ask to be evacuated. right now the focus is on the security at the airport. getting all the people inside that airport evacuated and out of the country and to begin this retrograde as quickly as possible. i think this hastens the timeline for which they have to pull all of the equipment out. as much as august 31st was the final deadline given by the president, i can guarantee you that they are moving now to get things out as quickly as possible. >> dana: interesting and i'll make -- there is another way which is -- we have the intel apparently this could happen so presumably we know the network that's responsible. you are taking the fight to the
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enemy has been one of the ways we've kept a terrorist attack from happening on our own soil. we'll see what the commander-in-chief does. at this point to me there is another way to deal with it. punch back at whoever did this. >> let me clarify one thing. the intel as you know, you were in the white house for many years. intel comes in and it is never specific that a named person or a group. >> dana: i understand. >> this intel we've been reporting on. nobody has tried to intelligence from us. pentagon and state department and even the white house have spoken publicly about it. they were working under the assumption it would be isis k cells who were wanting to not only embarrass to new taliban government but also attack americans. it is not clear the address for isis k or where you would find them. they are all mixed in amongst the afghans. if this were a taliban attack and if this were a taliban attack that the taliban took
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responsibility for then you would have an address, the presidential palace where baradar is sitting and the hikani brother in charge of security in kabul. most likely it is not a so-called taliban attack because if it were or if it were linked to the taliban you can guarantee the u.s. military would be striking back. the problem is attributing who is responsible for a suicide bomb. we don't know if it was a woman wearing the vest or a man. that was the danger that u.s. troops and marines were facing as they checked paperwork going through. you could have a million stories of women and orphans. i worked in the middle east for years. terrorist groups know how suicide vests and often hide them under burqas. right now it's safe to assume they are securing the perimeter.
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now they are relying on the taliban to push those thousands of people outside the gates back. no u.s. forces will be able to leave the gates to push people away and they are sitting targets right now for further attacks. >> bill: jen, i want to get to griff jenkins in a moment. i just want to -- remind you and our viewers the abc interview with george stephanopolous a week and a half old now is it after the airplane, c-17 went down the runway. one of the comments he made during the interview is given the retreat that he was asked about the chaos. he said the chaos was essentially unavoidable. almost inevitable. did the pentagon feel it was inevitable, too >> absolutely. we heard from john kirby, the press secretary, that they had what was known as a tabletop exercise. basically war game of how they would do a non-combatiant
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evacuation under fire if you will or in a situation with a hostile enemy outside the gates. and they knew that this would be part of the equation. it is frankly a miracle that it didn't happen sooner than today given the number of flights that they've been able to get out. the number of days they've been getting thousands of afghan evacuees out. knew it was a race against the clock and knew it was a possibility. they took a calculated risk to move as quickly as possible to help as many people as possible. >> bill: thank you, terrific again. back to you in a moment. griff jenkins for more news on what he is following. >> the latest from the state department is the new alert stands and tells americans that they should avoid traveling to the airport. avoid these airport gates at this time, and if they are at the abbey east or north gate they should leave immediately. we've been having a bit of a debate over the last few days
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whether americans, the 1500 that secretary blinken identified yesterday were stranded or not. it is clear at this point they are indeed stranded with no apparent contingency plan to go outside of the airport to get them that we know of. those 1500. the state department was in direct contact with 500 of them trying to reach another 1,000. we do not know exactly what the guidance directly to the ones we've been in contact with are at this moment. we also have been watching our live footage of the kabul airport and you see airplanes lifting. we saw earlier moments ago a chinook helicopter lifting. we don't know who those flights on it or who is on it. i asked if all flights have creaseed. ceased. one thing is for sure. the situation with americans stuck in afghanistan now are on a different footing.
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the state department's last contingency plan update was that we are dependent upon the taliban in these private and public amendments to insure safe passage. it is clear the taliban government now in control, fully in control of kabul are unable to deliver on that with some at least 1500 americans stuck not knowing what to do next. >> bill: thank you. we have tried to get as much as we could in over the past hour and 15 minutes where things have -- the environment and story has changed. i mentioned the president thought it was inevitable you would have chaos here. it has come in the worst form. the last 11 days you and i have been sitting here. if you go back to sunday, august 15th, i think perhaps officially it was the day kabul fell. and then when we were here on monday we had that c-17 rolling down the runway and we saw
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images that people in the world have never seen. people clinging to the side of an airplane and some falling to their death. afghans by the thousands in street clothes hanging outside a gate guarded by marines and u.s. soldiers and standing in sewage up to their knees and the images from qatar with the refugees spreading out to locations all over the world including air bases here in the united states. places like the state of wisconsin and it has been a long time since american history has experienced a moment like this. and to be precise it was april 1975. >> dana: we brought you two eyewitness -- witnesses on the ground. one of them an interpreter, afghan who interpreted for us. he has his papers and tried since the 15th to get back and he is taking casualties after a young girl died in his arms taking casualties to the hospital. he knows his life forever changed just now.
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he will not get out. remember, we now have the taliban saying that osama bin laden was not responsible for 9/11 even though bin laden was on camera several times saying he was responsible. >> bill: it has been a profound couple of weeks. what you feel at home is what you feel. i feel sad for all of us. let's hope for the best from this day forward. >> dana: god bless. harris faulkner. >> harris: and we're following and will continue to follow the breaking news this hour. fox news alert at least three u.s. marines have been wounded in an explosion outside kabul international airport. evacuation efforts are thrown farther now into chaos. i'm harris faulkner and you are in "the faulkner focus". pentagon spokesman john kirby confirmed there was an explosion outside the airport just about one hour ago. an official is telling fox news there was


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