tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer Dana Perino FOX News August 27, 2021 6:00am-8:00am PDT
ainsley: thank you. >> thanks for having me. ainsley: our thoughts and prayer s are with those 13 families that got the knock on the door yesterday. we thank you for their service. brian: let's hope we're okay today, because no more knocking, they are still in danger, as we speak. steve: it is still the lead story and continues now, with america's newsroom.
>> officials claim dozens of americans want to stay in the country. >> dana: chaotic situation in the ground guaranteeing some americans will be left behind in addition to thousands of our afghan allies. >> bill: the president's messaging on this has evolved over the past 10 days. take a look at this sample starting with abc nine days ago. >> president biden: no one is being killed right now. god forgive me if i'm wrong about that. no one is being killed right now. we made clear to the taliban that any attack, any attack on our forces or disruptions of our operations at the airport will be met with swift and forceful response. >> president biden: the taliban has not taken action against u.s. forces. so far they have by and large followed through what they said.
we'll see whether or not what they say turns out to be true. every day we're on the ground is another day we know that isis k is seeking to target the airport and attack u.s. and allied forces and innocent civilians. well not forgive, well not forget. we will hunt you down to make you pay. >> bill: that was just a little bit of what we've heard over the past week and a half we could say. we were on the day yesterday on the five when that address was given. two good, strong moments during that off teleprompter. the line about we'll forgive and not forget. i don't know how you do that if you talked about pulling everyone out of the country. strong moment, being sucked into a black hole trying to relate to the families getting a knock on the door. everything after that was soft.
the questions, the answers, the reaction just soft from the white house. >> dana: when he talked about the resolve that americans have. i think people can relate to that and wanted to hear that. deadly attack on u.s. troops cannot go unanswered and we'll find out at a time of our choosing what he decides to do about it. >> bill: team fox coverage. great lineup. mike pompeo joins us in a moment. jackie heinrich from the without but we begin in the pentagon and jennifer griffin. good morning. >> u.s. military sources who i've spoken to tell me that the president is making promises he can't keep to get every american and special immigrant visa holder out of afghanistan by tuesday and also strike back at those who carried out yesterday's twin suicide bombings that killed american forces. for one, when the u.s. military pulled out so did the cia. intelligence networks were
rolled up in an effort to get afghan partners out. those left behind that the u.s. would typically rely on to track down terrorists are cowering in basements and safe houses trying to hide from the taliban. u.s. military sources tell me that the terror threat realtime intelligence threat streams based on the troops and airplanes taking off from kabul today are greater than the day before. here is general frank mckenzie yesterday. >> very real tactical, imminent, could occur at any moment ranging from rocket attacks. we also know they aim to get a suicide vehicle attack in if they can from a small to a large vehicle. they're working all those options. we're doing everything we can to be prepared for that attacks and reaching out to the taliban who are providing the outer security cordon around the airfield and what we expect them to do to protect us.
>> despite the loss of life general mckenzie continued to do the evacuation mission. the u.s. military faces a catch 22 and admits they're reliant on the taliban to stop bombers from getting to the airport. >> you still trust the taliban and is it possible that they let this happen? >> as to whether or not they let it happen. i don't know. i don't think there is anything to convince me they let it happen. >> the president and general mckenzie blamed isis k for the attacks yesterday. a complex attack. two suicide bombers and multiple isis gunmen opened fire at the gate. he is still counting on the taliban to protect his 5200 troops who remain at the kabul airport. >> they have a practical reason for wanting us to get out of here by the 31st of august. they want to reclaim the airfield. we want to get out by that
date, too. if it's possible. we share a common purpose. >> the president indicated his military has a good idea of who is responsible and will hunt them down. >> we've been clear all along we retain to right to operate against isis in afghanistan and working very hard right now to determine attribution and who is associated with this cowardly attack and prepared to take action against them. 24/7 we're looking for them. >> the problem is they are now hiding in the capital kabul hiding among civilians. 12,500 people were evacuated yesterday from kabul despite the bombing, 35 military flights. some of them were medevacs. >> bill: thank you, back to you live when there is more news at the pentagon. >> dana: let's go to the white house. president biden defended his actions as the worst case scenario unfolds. watch the heated exchange with our own peter doocy. >> do you bear any responsibility for the way that
things have unfolded in the last two weeks? >> president biden: i bear responsibility for fundamentally all that's happened of late. here's the deal. you know i wish you would one day say these things. you know as well as i do that the former president made a deal with the taliban that he would get all american forces out of afghanistan by may 1. he was given a commitment that the taliban would continue to attack others but would not attack any americans. i'm being serious. i'm asking you a question because -- no, no i'm asking you a question. is that accurate to the best of your knowledge?
>> [inaudible] >> harris: i think they have an issue that people are likely to get hurt, some as we've seen have gotten killed, and that it is messy. the reason why whether my friend will acknowledge it or reported it, the reason why they were no attacks on americans on the date until i came into office was because the commitment was made by president trump, i will be out by may 1st. in the meantime, you agree not to attack any americans. that was the deal. that's why no american was attacked. >> you squairl stand by your decision to pull out. >> harris: yes, i do. -- >> president biden: it was time to end a 20-year war.
>> good morning. president biden promised that isis will not go unpunished. he ordered the pentagon to draw up plans to strike its leadership and facilities. meanwhile the evacuation effort continues with just five days until that withdrawal deadline. the president said he would authorize more troops if necessary but says that he believes it can complete as is designed right now. >> president biden: these isis terrorists will not win. we will rescue the americans. we will get our afghan allies out and our mission will go on. america will not be intimidated. >> last update 5,000 people are waiting to get out in the airport. amid the chaos 7,000 were evacuated yesterday. more than 12,000 in the last 24 hours. there are still as many as 1,000 americans needing evacuation. the president said there is no
evidence of collusion so far between isis and the taliban in carrying out this attack but there are lingering questions whether the taliban can be considered reliable partners. general mckenzie it's possible the suicide bombers got through taliban checkpoints. critics say the decisions that put americans in this position are dangerous. >> when you project weakness from the oval office as joe biden does, bad guys do bad things and we unfortunately saw that play out today and we lost 13 brave americans who served our country. >> white house press secretary jen psaki the president didn't consider revising the withdrawal deadline because military commanders believe it is essential to get out by the 31st. no end date to our end date to get americans and afghans out who wish to leave. the president and vice president this morning are meeting with the national security team. later on in the day the president will have that
bilateral meeting with the new israeli prime minister after it was canceled yesterday amid the attacks. >> bill: our next guest played a critical role in that deal. former secretary of state mike pompeo joins us now. the peace deal in front of me. dana has some specific questions. you were invoked heavily on behalf of the current president's comments. defend yourself based on what you heard yesterday. let's start there before we dive in. >> bill and dana, thank you for having me on this morning. let me begin this morning we're praying for the families of the soldiers and marines killed yesterday. bless them. they were doing amazing work in a very difficult situation. we're praying for the continued security of the folks on the ground trying to get americans home. want to thank everyone who served in afghanistan for all the work they did all these years. bill, as for the deal, we were very clear from the beginning with the taliban. we were negotiating with the afghan government and had a deal with them too.
we were clear with the taliban that we had this understanding but you were going to live up to it and we a conditions-based withdrawal plan. 15,000 to a little over 2500 and we didn't have a single american attack or a single american killed. it wasn't because the piece of paper. that was a set of understandings. the taliban understood if they acted against americans and took on actions that were inconsistent with what they had promised to do we would respond and we did. we did it multiple times. when they pushed on us in the trump administration we responded with american power and might. and we made clear to the taliban deterrents would be maintained. the difference was when the biden administration came in they showed weakness. they put our military in a very difficult position. they weren't prepared to defend the conditions and decided to withdraw when the conditions weren't right. you know all of your viewers know this.
president trump wanted to get our troops out. we never found the conditions right to execute what president biden chose to do. president trump wanted everyone out from january of 2017. we never found the conditions right to be able to do that so we withdrew from 15,000 to 8600 and 4500. thoughtfully making sure we understood we had deterrents maintained and protect americans we do so every single day. >> bill: according to the peace deal there are four parts. one of the main parts is contingent upon the taliban negotiating peace with the current afghan government. that never happened. either our side had to push them together or this was wishful thinking. which was it? >> well bill, we did have a push, no doubt. for 20 years the afghans wouldn't talk to each other. president trump had two mission sets. one was to get our folks out
and the risk we would be attacked from there again. a part of that second objective was to get the afghans at the table talking. women and ngos, afghan government, former leaders in afghanistan, we had the taliban. all beginning to try to pound out a set of conversations. we knew it would take years to achieve but that peace and reconciliation process was important. if you were going to create the stability you needed, bill, you had to do it. >> bill: if they did not live up to either side live up to the deal the deal was null and void and then you can go back to the taliban and say you broke the agreement and that did not happen. why? >> of course, no, we told the taliban repeatedly they were violating the agreement, bill. repeatedly. >> dana: what happens next, sir. >> and we responded and we imposed real costs on them when they did so. we impolesed costs on president
ghani. we took over a billion dollars away from him when he wouldn't talk. we were putting pressure on the afghans to deliver on america's interests. we weren't trusting the taliban. we were delivering the things that mattered to american security and protected american interests throughout afghanistan. >> dana: yesterday biden said we will not forgive or forget. do you anticipate it would be possible to do some sort of strike even if it was inside afghanistan at whoever killed our service members yesterday? >> i give a lot of credit to our military and their capabilities. i hope there is still intelligence capacity there. i don't know if that's true or not. it has gotten more difficult. gotten more difficult for multiple reasons. they've given the names of these americans to the bad guys. this is incomprehensible and reminds me of when president biden gave the identity of our cyber risks to the russians. this is so naive. they trusted the taliban to
protect americans. we didn't do that. we trusted america to protect america's interests at every turn. >> bill: you have the taliban, isis, haqqani and al qaeda. there was a devastating report from the u.n. back in the early summer. it suggests between 8,000 and 10,000 islamic jihadists flooded into the country of afghanistan which contributes more and more to this wicked stew of terrorists that are now free to roam. is there a hair's difference between any of those groups i mentioned? >> bill, there is. but they have a common theme. you hit on these. radical islamist terrorists who want to undermine our republic and like to kill westerners and americans in particular. in that sense they are all the same. they have different power struggles amongst them. they'll fight each other but in the end they all oppose america more than they oppose each other. >> bill: dana was touching on this. if the taliban just rolled through the country, doesn't
the taliban know where isis k is located and if they aren't claiming responsibility shouldn't we demand that information before we leave? >> of course we should. whether the taliban has perfect information i doubt it. but they certainly know where the isis folks are. there have been times there was conflict the taliban attacked isis and they went after them from time to time for sure. it is not the case they're true partners but they share the theme that they want to kill americans and undermine us. i can't tell you precisely what happened yesterday and who did it but america's interests are making sure any radical islamist is pushed back and we secure or resources. we have just over 100 hours before we will have to extract 5,000 americans from this. this is a very dangerous time, a sobering day and i hope that we'll show the resolve and strength necessary to protect our american interests in the way that president trump and i did for four years.
>> dana: last question would be about our allies because it is not just americans that they would like to attack, we've seen this in europe over the last several years as well. australia. nato allies. there are reports they remain extremely furious with the united states. does that matter? >> it matters an awful lot because what we're focused on afghanistan today, dana make no mistakes they aren't limited to afghanistan. they're in yemen, southeast asia, africa, every one of those terrorists is watching american weakness in afghanistan and i'm sure they're all contemplating whether this isn't the moment to strike and well oel need our friends and allies to have confidence in us in all of these places. in afghanistan, too. that we'll be prepared to do and honor the commitments we've made. they are all very concerned. i've heard from many of them and very worried this president is not prepared to lead in the way we did for four years. >> bill: thank you for your time. one more question. why did we have to release
5,000 prisoners from an afghan jail? why was that necessary? >> bill, it was part of the set of understandings. we didn't want those 5,000 people released but it was part of the commitments that were made. the taliban honored some of their commitments as a direct result of that. in the end it was a decision. the afghans released those prisoners and in their control. in the end president gani believed he could do so that was safe. a decision was made as a complex year's long set of understanding that tried to bring about what oh soldier fought for for 20 years. >> bill: 1,000 americans still in afghanistan. state department claiming dozens of them want to stay there. talked to bret baier about that when we continue after this next.
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>> dana: thousands of americans and afghan allies are still stranded in afghanistan. the exact number of people desperate to evacuate is not publicly known but the biden administration continues to claim that people are choosing to stay behind. let's bring in bret baier anchor of "special report" and get your reaction to all of that, bret. >> it's a tough situation and i think that you will see these evacuations increase as far as their number but eventually there is a point at which the music stops and the military has to get its assets out of there. so what that looks like, whether it's 36, 72 hours, we don't know. but it is going to stop at some point. the bigger picture here listening to your conversation with former secretary pompeo is
the truce in the taliban and how this particular evacuation is going. i did read over some stuff right after that deal was signed with the last administration in which the ambassador said on the last day as it was signing if the taliban doesn't talk to the afghan government, if the taliban does not live up to its obligations, we don't have to leave or we leave as we choose. those were his words. i think what we're seeing now is the reliance of the taliban that is raising eyebrows in washington >> bill: you are right about the deal on that. sharp questions for pompeo and the former president trump going forward and there will be a time for that as we just had an opportunity a moment ago. however, that is not the administration that has the power in the white house and peter doocy got as close to it as anybody yesterday. the fundamental question for the commander-in-chief now, joe
biden, is, is this on you? and the answer is yes. based on some of the reporting in the "washington post", the white house was making the calls on this despite what the pentagon wanted and despite what commanders on the ground wanted. is that not right? >> that's correct. it is hard for me to believe his military advisors told him to close bagram before he got out all the allies and americans. i just don't see it. that's what he said yesterday. i think we are going to see a number of anonymous sources come forward with exactly what happened in those advising meetings. >> dana: i want to take a look back to july 8th where president biden said this. >> president biden: the likelihood there is going to be the taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. >> dana: we just mentioned maybe some differences of opinion with the military but what about the intel side of
things as well, bret? what does it say about the process within the white house to try to coordinate all this if they're making decisions in the situation room? >> you know the inner workings of white houses. i'm surprised no one has resigned or been fired as of yet because oats -- it's that big of a total miss here. have your principals, the president, secretary of state saying it won't go from a friday to monday. it won't be a saigon and then suddenly it's worse than saigon. on it's way to beirut because we're in a situation where -- and god bless all those troops ton ground. they are going through some serious security issues. everybody outside of the gate is no longer afghans trying to get to the airport. it is a threat. >> dana: something that has been keeping me up and many others, given this situation. remember, it was about i guess
maybe a week ago or so in the said he was thinking about expanding the perimeter. that would have meant providing more space between the airport and crowds of people coming in. that never happened. i find it hard to get my head around this. almost as confounding as abandoning bagram. >> i totally agree. i don't understand the reliance on the taliban and they keep on saying they don't trust the taliban and yet the outer security of the airport is the taliban. and as he answered the question yesterday it's very possible we gave lists of people including afghan allies. we know from our reporting on the ground the taliban were going house to house looking for afghans who helped the u.s. some were beaten up. worse stories on the outer provinces. so there will be a lot of after action here but what is needed now is finishing this up and getting people out. >> bill: i want to come back to the resignation question in a moment. you know washington well.
i never lived there and i don't understand it. i will pose my question in a second. headlines "washington post". biden struggles to address the most volatile crisis of his presidency. great pieces by a couple of them written today. check them out online. "new york times" biden faces tragedy. "politico", darkest day of biden's presidency. without question seven months in. on the resignations, the reason why no one has been fired is likely because they were giving him advice and he overruled them. no matter what they said or suggested this was his call. so you can't blame anyone else. that's kind of how it works in d.c., does it not? >> that's true. when he says the buck stops with me it does. but then he went on to peter's -- to answer peter's question by saying but i was put in a corner by the previous administration, but other things. from everything we're hearing, this was the president's call. over and above some of the
advice from the intel and the military community. i think it's also striking, guys, that the administration keeps on trying to say this is the biggest, best airlift ever. yes, they have gotten a lot of people out but it is not like this was of a choice. this was a chaotic catastrophe that we're in this place, not because in is some great moment. they are doing what they have to do like military always does. but they are backed into a corner. >> bill: to put a fine point on that. this was no victory despite the headlines about 100,000 people getting out. and these u.s. marines, the navy coreman who lost their lives doing it yesterday. they were there to help serve humanity and they paid the ultimate price for that. no victory indeed. thank you, we'll talk to you later. >> dana: we've been watching live pictures of evacuation flights resuming at kabul. you can see it there with the
august 31 deadline fast approaching. the biden administration under a lot of pressure to get people out. griff jenkins at the state department. >> good morning. the state department not slowing their efforts in the wake of the deadly attack and amid the high terror threats. blinken hailing the lost calling them heroes saying they put themselves in harm's way so we can do our jobs on behalf of the american people. even after the attack they're doing that right now in kabul as they are in so many other parts of the world and they will continue to do so as we complete this mission. dana, we got a clear picture of exactly how many americans may remain. of those estimated 1500 who are believed to be stranded. state department says 500 have been evacuated. they say of the remaining 1,000, the quote vast majority, every 2/3 are believed to be nearly or already out of the country adding that dozens did not want to leave. they also say, dana, they heard
from an additional 500 people who they say are american wanting to leave but the state department trying to contact them to verify that. meanwhile the guidance for americans still in country avoid traveling to the airport and avoid all airport gates unless directed otherwise. but the fact is, they simply don't have an exact accounting and don't deny that some americans could be left behind fully dependent on the taliban. >> we'll continue to work to get people out of afghanistan even after the 31st and we'll need to could ornate with the taliban in order to do that. continued coordination. >> it goes without saying for afghan allies, their fate much worse. administration admitting not everyone who wants to get out will get out. finally the real big question here at the state department today is how will the kabul airport remain open beyond the
31st? it's friday. that's truce. -- tuesday. there is still no international agreement to keep the airport open. there is a chance it could be closed for a time period around that deadline. we'll have to wait and see what the officials here have to say about that later today. >> dana: griff jenkins at the state department. thank you. >> bill: thousands of afghan allies now desperately trying to get out of that country as the situation on the ground worsens. president biden admitting not all of them will be able to leave. he said this late thursday. >> president biden: we'll continue to try to get you out. it matters. look, i know of no conflict, as a student of history, no conflict where, when a war is ending, one side was able to guarantee that everyone they wanted to be extracted from that country would get out. think about it, folks.
i think it's important -- >> bill: with us now by telephone we're calling him carl. he is in kabul. he has made multiple attempts to leave that country. jen wilson, the coo of army week association working from her apartment from new york city working day and night helping interpreters leave the country. first to carl if you can hear me okay. 24 hours ago right about now you were describing to us that awful scene at the gate at the airport in kabul and you told us about a 5-year-old child who died in your arms and you were the first one, carl, to tell us about american casualties. how are you doing today? where are you today? and are you any closer to catching one of the last planes out? >> thanks for having me. i am in kabul. yesterday was the first time i have tried to reach out to the
marines on the other side of the canal and get out so i was right over when the explosion happened. but i was away from the people. so it was crowded. there were thousands of thousands of people over there and i was pushing everyone away so i could reach them and -- when the explosion happened everybody started running and i was pushing toward the explosion. i knew there would be casualties. there was a woman crying and a baby that was lying on the ground. i went for her. i grabbed her put her on my shoulder and run back to the vehicle. i put her in the vehicle. i tried to get her -- we got in bad traffic. i got out of the vehicle again took her to the hospital. she died. when i get to the hospital she died right in my hands.
>> bill: carl, i want to bring in jen wilson. watching your reaction while carl is talking to us. can we get him out or not? >> oh, bill. i can tell you this. it has been an all-hands-on-deck since two sundays ago trying to get him out. we have made four runs trying to get him out. charlie and i working together constantly laying taliban checkpoint maps over google maps from his location to get him there safely. going to different places while colleen the sister of a marine that carl saved is working tirelessly to try to cut through the red tape to get his paperwork sorted because we did actually -- one of our plans finally on the third strike we got him in. we got him in. i won't say how but we got him
in and i cannot tell you the relief. charlie and i and colleen were in tears, 3:00 in the morning. we called him and spoke to him. he was almost in tears. just the relief of knowing he wasn't going to orphan his child and within 30 minutes he called me back frantic, screaming into the phone jen, they are throwing me out and saying i can't stay. please get on the phone with them and tell them i can stay. here, talk to her, this is jen wilson, she is one of your people. she is a ceo of one of your organizations, please tell them i can stay and they kicked him out. we've been trying ever since. you guys have been trying as well behind the scenes to help us. >> bill: we won't give up, either. >> dana: carl, you served for 17 years with us, is that right?
>> i have for 10 years for the united states and i have worked for the contractors, basically i have saved american lives but i have never got a chance to get a visa. it has been hard trying to get a visa and get the hell out of here. i don't want to be in the situation where i am now. i'm hiding. my family is somewhere else and i'm somewhere else. basically -- [inaudible] i don't know how to explain everything. >> bill: carl, would you go back to the airport now or not? >> if i get a chance to go back to the airport, yes, i will try. i will -- i said to my family that i'm going to --
[inaudible] because i have a daughter to trying to get her out of here to have a great future and i don't want her to suffer. >> bill: jen, talk to carl, what do you want him to know? >> hey, buddy. dana and bill have given us our first opportunity to speak. we're usually on the phone all day every day. how are you doing? >> i am doing pretty good. pretty good. >> yeah? how is our niece? >> they are pretty. >> bill: aunt colleen and uncle jim want to know. >> [inaudible] explaining what is going to happen and everybody is saying what is your second plan? i don't have one. >> yes, we do. we have six. we have six.
>> how am i going to have another six plans? >> we'll get you out. >> i know that i will get killed if i'm left behind. the good thing is i won't die for -- what i did i will never regret it because i have tried to help people. it is me trying to help people. she died and i pulled her in the hospital, i came back and there were a lot of traffic. i tried to go through the traffic and have civilian vehicles to fast drive because there was a lot of -- and i was there. >> dana: carl, i want to ask jen, a lot of americans feel angry, ashamed, and helpless.
but how can americans help? >> at this point we are now likely no longer an option to get our guys out so we've pivoted and project dynamo is now our way to get them out. we'll open the northern corridor, set up our own beach head and start getting them out so anybody else that still needs help if you have your terps, dump your information in there and we'll fly them out ourselves. and carl, carl, could i say, buddy, it just crushed me to hear you say you aren't going to make it out. i can assure you, charlie and i and colleen and dana and brian, we'll get you out. we are going to get -- if it's the last thing i do, we're going to get you out. >> i do appreciate everybody
helping. i do appreciate everything you are doing now. >> bill: i want our viewers to know, carl and jen, these are the kind of conversations that are happening by the thousands all over this country and all over afghanistan and all around the region. jen, thank you for coming back. carl, we are pulling for you, all right? >> dana: i trust in jen, carl. >> bill: >> can i say one last thing? the other night we got a bad report and i had an absolute breakdown and my -- nobody could calm me down and my 12-year-old nephew came to walk beside me pacing and he just looked at they meh with that 12-year-old look in his eyes and he just said but jen, did you leave it all on the field? did you do everything you could? because if so, then if they die
they die knowing that they had a friend that didn't give up on them and that's better than dying alone. >> bill: remarkable. jen, thank you. >> a 12-year-old shouldn't have to say that. >> bill: thank you for your time and thanks for coming back and carl, we'll be in contact, okay? thank you. >> one last thing. it's not just me. it's not just me that i'm in this situation. i know people are in the same situation that i am right now. they have worked for the united states and have provided supplies for the united states but guess what? over -- there are people getting through that never worked. they knew somebody with a green card or knew somebody with a pass book. that's how they got inside. i know people that are inside but they never worked. >> bill: your exit is justified
and we recognize that. >> dana: you will be welcomed. >> bill: this is going on all over 24 hours a day. we haven't forgotten about our veterans, either. we're doing this every day. veterans crisis line is overloaded. check it out if you need help on screen 800-273-8255 and a next number and the website is veterans crisis line.net available 24/7 for you if you need it. i do believe at some point this morning, dana, and in all likelihood throughout the day today we'll start to get the names of those marines and navy corpman. 90 afghans who paid the price after the two suicide bojs. it has been a very tough two weeks for america and yesterday was a very brutal day. >> dana: it was. still ahead a panel of
americans who risked their lives for our country in afghanistan what it means for the terror threat from the region going forward. knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ get ready - our most popular battery is even more powerful. the stronger, lasts-longer energizer max. the stronger, lasts-longer we did it again. verizon has been named america's most reliable network by rootmetrics. and our customers rated us #1 for network quality in america according to j.d. power. number one in reliability, 16 times in a row. most awarded for network quality, 27 times in a row. proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon. that's why we're building 5g right,
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the terror threat in afghanistan is still terribly real. let's bring in elliott abrams, former deputy national security advisor and representative foriran. one of the things that i've always learned from you is that setting a date certain is a terrible idea and august 31st, who set that and why and look what happened? >> well, the answer dana is joe biden set that date and the proof of what a terrible idea is wasilewski the segment you did. we'll leave some american citizens and thousands of afghans who sacrificed to save americans, we will leave them hanging there for no particular reason other than joe biden chose august 31. first he chose september 11th, which was really crazy. it is a terrible, terrible mistake and he could have used the horrible events of yesterday to change the date but he is being very stubborn
and i'm afraid people will pay with their lives for that stubbornness. >> bill: he still has time to change it. we'll wait to hear from him today. the good money is on what you just said and it isn't going to. we'll see. leon panetta has been outspoken and critical. he said this yesterday about the high possibility or probability in his words that we are going back into afghanistan. watch. >> we'll have to go back in to get isis. we'll probably have to go back in when al qaeda rest rekts itself. -- resurrects itself. we can leave a battlefield but we can't leave the war on terrorism. >> bill: the comment yesterday on cnn. the isis-k group is a splinter group described as 100 or 200 men living in different parts of eastern afghanistan. all right, to me that sounds
devious. years ago there was a bomb in a soda can and put it on an airplane and it blew up. who knows what schemes they're planning now? i think panetta is exactly right. >> i think so, too. i would worry about the numbers. when president obama pulled out of iraq, he said well, you know, there are just a few hundred of these isis guys and then had to go back in. panetta, who remember is a democrat who served as secretary of state and c.i.a. director, i think he is absolutely right. president biden talks about how we have to end these endless wars. he hasn't ended this one, he has put us in a worse position for the fight against terrorism that will have to continue to keep us safe. >> dana: that entire region will feel the reverberations of
this and one is iran. biden tried to reverse what president trump did the iran deal. you have the israeli prime minister meeting with biden today and i'm sure that's very much on his mind. >> it has to be the first item on the agenda. the president, president biden based his policy on this idea we'll go back to the obama nuclear deal with jcpoa. iran doesn't want to go back. we won't most likely go back. what's plan b? what does the president plan to do to prevent iran from moving closer and closer to a nuclear weapon? president biden said they won't get a nuclear weapon on my watch. what worries the israelis is they may get within a week of a nuclear weapon. that isn't tolerable for them or us. >> dana: please come back.
>> bill: thank you. want to go back to kabul now. watching the ground there and the airport. sun sets there in five or six minutes, 6:30 local time waiting for an update from the pentagon. live m 30 minutes. we also expect to hear from president biden and the white house in the next hour. bringing it to you live as it happens on this friday morning late august. the best time in history to use your va refi benefit and get cash. you could take out $50,000 or more because the newday 100 va loan lets you borrow up to 100% of your home's value. use that cash to pay high rate credit card debt or plan for retirement. the newday 100 va loan.
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waiting for house republican leader at any time. >> dana: president biden wrapped up an early meeting with his national security advisors as he gets ready to greet israel's new prime minister. they were supposed to meet yesterday but the airport massacre changed everything. >> bill: flights continue to take off from kabul. three in the past hour. chances to get out are fading quickly like the afghan setting sun at this hour. many of our u.s. allies ending evacuation efforts there. >> dana: anxious crowds outside the airport are aware the window is closing to board a flight before the airlift ends and u.s. troops go home. president biden ignoring his critics and just refusing to change his mind. >> president biden: i have never been of the view that we should be sacrificing american lives to try to establish a democratic government in
afghanistan. >> they trusted the taliban to protect americans. we never did that. we trusted america to protect america's interests at every turn. >> joe biden is to blame. robert gates said it best. hasn't been a foreign policy decision joe biden made in the last 40 years that's been any good. when you project weakness from the oval office as joe biden does, bad guys do bad things. >> dana: trey yingst with the latest in qatar. good morning. >> good morning. those explosions yesterday killing 13 u.s. service members and at least 95 afghans. overnight local hospitals treating dozens of people wounded outside a abbey gate. evacuations are ongoing. the pentagon says more than 12,000 people were airlifted out of kabul in the past 24 hours bringing the total since the rescues began to more than 100,000 people. the clock is ticking.
on tuesday american forces are supposed to leave afghanistan and there are still thousands of people trying to flee. sources on the ground say the taliban expanded the perimeter outside of the airport and attempts to slow the flow of people to the airport. one person in kabul added the situation could deteriorate rapidly at any minute with numerous things going wrong. and understanding some civilian flights could resume after americans leave and limited and controlled by turkey or pakistan. once the lifeline of air evacuations ceases thousands could flee on foot. the united missions half a million afghans could leave the country across land borders. people line up trying to flee the taliban by the border of pakistan and how desperate these people are to leave. >> dana: i'm sure we'll see a lot of you today. >> bill: i want to bring in two men who know this better than most. combat veteran and an army ranger.
greg steube may join us in a motion. for the sake of where we are in america i want to gain an understanding for what your perspectives are as to where we've been and where we are as of yesterday and where we're headed. i want to remind our viewers the united nations said in june that anywhere between 8,000 and 10,000 jihadi fighters moved into afghanistan. that happened over the summer. now you have al qaeda, taliban, isis-k, haqqani, all this stuff now. where are we headed, alex? >> i think we're headed to a very precarious situation. i think one of the assistant secretary of state responsible for the afghan evacuation yesterday stated there are 4100 americans in country just the people have registered their presence with the government. in order to meet that 8/31 deadline they have to shut access to the airport and position everyone that's there,
take care of the paperwork and fly them out. what comes next is that we have as you mentioned isis-k. yesterday was responsible for the attack. they don't get along with the taliban one saving grace the enemy might be my nrend that case. elements of al qaeda and what not and no longer have a functioning embassy or military personnel on the ground. the administration's position is that after that 8/31 deadline we have to rely on the taliban to get people to leave. they have oef denied access to the airport. beating and whipping people including americans and a pregnant american i tried to get on the air base yesterday. definitely worried about long-term for potential hostage situations. it was part of my portfolio at the pentagon for oversight. 4100 americans in a country still lacking a lot of infrastructure and control with terrorists operating is a dangerous situation to find yourself in. >> dana: you've tirelessly matt to try to get interpreters out.
what will happen now if the channels to get to the airport closes? what will happen to those efforts? >> the channel to get to the airport is closed. we lost five people yesterday trying to make the run and that ied was so big it had to have been sitting there for at least a week. it was planned. i think most people are ignoring the international influence going on in the area now. we believe iran might have some nrou, pakistan controls the taliban and funded by the united states. no way isis-k planned this out. they just got released from prison last week in afghanistan. there are so many international players now it's chaotic and our intelligence community doesn't have a good picture and we're flying thousands of people to the united states and what we're learning from our sources on the inside is that the office of special investigation that's interviewing people say stories
aren't lining up and people being released in our communities. this is an international incident that will have domino effects that we can't comprehend at the moment. >> matthew you said something there i hadn't heard before and we aren't reporting that. you are saying an ied was planted there a week ago at the airport? how do you know that? >> there was no way they could have gotten a bomb that big in the area with the congestion on that road. it was a vehicle-born ied and that road was stacked for a week. we were getting reports for a threat multiple days before the bomb went off of that size. there is no way that it could have driven. it had to have been there for a long period of time and then to go off. >> bill: a question for the pentagon when the briefing starts in 20 minutes. greg steube joins our conversation. where are we headed and where are we going? >> it won't go oh good place now. i think we've got hardship ahead. i'm really struggling with a
couple of things. number one have we forgotten what the taliban have been doing to us for 20 years? have we forgotten the law they live by? in an age and administration that seems to abide by wokeness where we cancel our own citizens and our own people, entertainers, athletes, ceos coaches for something they said 20 years ago but now we're cooperating with the taliban that's been cutting our heads off for 20 years and we throw red flags up for isis-k and i say it's radical islam, it's terrorism we're being affected by no matter who is doing it. in this situation withdrawing is the only thing we can do. less time diagnosing that and more time protecting our people from an obvious threat. i don't see why isis-k is such a big red herring. it doesn't matter which group it is right now. if we were staying it would.
>> bill: alex here is what the commander-in-chief said yesterday from the white house. he said this. >> president biden: to those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone wishes america harm, know this, we will not forgive. we will not forget. we will hunt you down to make you pay. >> bill: i don't know how that happens if you are leaving the kun tree. as dana would say you need eyes and ears on the ground to go after those who want to do you harm. we're doing exactly the opposite. >> well yes, with retrograde operations we've lost our remote bases in all the areas of the country operating out of the kabul airport and military presence will end. we have had military intelligence on the ground for 20 years. not a state secret. they'll be gone now. there are countries all over the world where we have
intelligence professionals who work where we don't have a military presence but in is an austere, hostile environment right now. i think the words the president used yesterday i think they also reflect where i think there is a serious failure here. so i firmly believe and i think most americans do based on polling president trump's decision to withdraw was correct and biden too, the issue we take here is with how the retrograde was conducted. so when we closed all of our remote bases and started collapsing toward the main bases and air fields. move from the outer most places in we didn't take any of the vulnerable afghans with us who passed the background checks and won't pose a security threat nor make a significant effort to get american citizens out. now you have people trapped all over the country. when they get to kabul the airport is being closed. how you conduct military operations to strike at these groups or more importantly if we have to conduct rescue
operations for americans left behind when we have no presence in country we have a very narrow air corridor in pakistan they allowed us to use for years and other -- it won't be a quick reaction force like we've had in the past and be extremely dangerous. >> dana: matt, you are a former army ranger. you guys don't give up. what would you say to your fellow veterans who are maybe possibly struggling in this moment? >> we're pretty bold about it. don't give the perps the satisfaction of taking one more american life. we need to stay in the fight. >> bill: greg? >> you know, right now i would like all of us as veterans to do two things. number one, understand that it's not about us. these days we've all volunteered to serve something greater than ourselves and we fought for love and compassion, we love freedom and we have
compassion for the human condition anywhere on the planet. that's a good fight that we don't ever have to regret. the other thing is that when i say it's not about us, we don't need to look inwards as veterans and think that it's just us. it is not. we're one team and one fight and to leave no one behind is less of a military credo than it is the american way, even terminally ill children we support them and put resources into them until their last breath because we love each other. >> bill: thank you, men. thank you for your service again and again. alex, matthew, and greg. thank you gentlemen. >> dana: thank you so much. >> bill: waiting on the pentagon and the president. a lot moving this hour. >> dana: can i tell you the "new york post" cover today nightmare, i think that is pretty accurate. >> bill: "wall street journal," kabul airport massacre, what a position for the u.s. to be in
relying on the victorious enemy that spent years trying to kill americans to detect jihadist bent on killing americans. the irony. yesterday we were here all day and initially we heard of casualties and we were hoping for the best and as the hours wore on throughout the afternoon, the headlines just got worse and worse and then you hear about americans injured, then you heard an american casualty and then it went from three to four, four to 10 and 10 to 12 and ultimately 13. then on the afghan side all these people there trying to rely on the marines and the soldiers to get them to safety and they take any kick that they can get, dana. germany, got it, qatar, i'll take it. united states, canada, sign me up. and the afghans lost more than
90 people at one time. there is the after effect of the images that we can show you. online there is a lot more that are brutal. i won't look at them. i don't think you do, either. we want to remember them all today again. >> dana: it's 10:14. minutes away from a pentagon briefing and we'll bring it to you live as it begins. >> bill: new details on the group isis-k that claimed responsibility. tactics they use to maximize casualties and what it means for the troops still guarding the airport at this hour with the sun setting in kabul. >> i've been warning for two weeks now we can't trust the taliban to conduct security at the airport or to help secure our citizens in cable. -kabul. we saw the results of that yesterday.
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>> we have been closely watching the assess of isis-k and had increasing concern about that threat growing over the last couple of days. >> dana: jen psaki on the administration's concern. the terror group is known for committing some of the worst human rights violations in the world. if the -- we bring in a human rights activist and understands the nature of this enemy very well. give us your thoughts, ayan. >> thank you for having me on. the administration knew and their responsible for this. the conversations about withdrawing from afghanistan were going on for a long time. during the trump administration and even before that. and withdrawal without a viable plan would have left to the scenes we're seeing.
everybody knew afghanistan is a theater of all sorts of jihadis. people like the taliban and al qaeda and yes, isis was present but there are also all sorts of other jihadi groups local and not known to the rest of the world. the main point is that without a viable plan, it was predictable that we would be seeing what we're seeing now. mcmaster, the former national security advisor to donald trump, jim mattis, the secretary of defense, they have told trump of these things and they were able to persuade him to wait until there is a viable plan. when he didn't listen to them some of them resigned. i think it is very important that, you know, we recognize that it is this administration that bears responsibility for this only because they wanted
to use that symbolic date of 9/11, 2021 and say look, we withdrew. they want to exude the impression they're decisive and strong and steady and now look what they've done. >> bill: the taliban yesterday was trying to deliver a message to the u.s. to stop encouraging people from leaving that country. almost like a brain dane you would see in other parts of the world. i don't know what the u.n. can do. maybe they have a measure of authority in afghanistan. i doubt it. but here is what one of the human rights monitors said just yesterday. >> i urge this council to take bold and vigorous action by establishing a dedicated mechanism to closely monitor the evolving human rights situation in afghanistan. fundamental red line will be the taliban's treatment of women and girls and respect for their rights of liberty for education, self-expression and
employment. guided by international human right norms. >> dana: a lot of words. >> bill: taliban doesn't give a damn what people think about them anywhere. >> absolutely. they think the u.n. and u.s. and everyone else are infidels and they are guided by god. then the u.n. talking about this when they have -- if you look at the united nations human rights commission it is a bizarre place where they have rituals where they condemn the united states and israel for apartheid and all this woke nonsense into the human rights language. i don't think this is good news or any kind of reassurance for the women of afghanistan. given the situation now maybe they'll change, who knows? i'll take anything. >> bill: back to tuesday they're back to the mercy of one of the cruelest groups in the world. thank you for your time today. >> dana: thank you. always good to see you.
>> bill: 23 past. president biden vowing to hunt down the terrorists responsible for killing our men. does it ring hollow now as we get ready to pack up and leave the country? chris wallace is on deck as we await the pentagon briefing. we'll talk to chris and first here is mike pompeo who is with dana and me last hour. >> when they pushed on us in the trump administration we responded with american power and might. when the biden administration came in and taliban pushed they withdrew. two and a quarter percent. just 2.48 apr. newday's holding the line on rates so veterans can save thousands. what's the #1 retinol brand used most by dermatologists? it's neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® smooths the look of fine lines in 1-week, deep wrinkles in 4. so you can kiss wrinkles goodbye! neutrogena®
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that yesterday and here he is. how are you doing this morning? >> doing well, dana. the president did take a couple of our questions. i asked him yesterday if his policy decisions make him in any way responsible for the events in afghanistan of the last two weeks. he took responsibility but shifted some blame for conditions on the ground in afghanistan when he took office to trump. >> president biden: you know as well as i do that the former president made a deal with the taliban that he would get all american forces out of afghanistan by may 1. in return, the commitment was made, that was a year before, in return, he was given the commitment that the taliban would continue to attack others but would not attack any american forces. remember that? i'm being serious.
i'm asking you a question because -- no, wait a minute. i'm asking you a question. is that accurate to the best of your knowledge? >> and that was in dispute from many of the president's critics especially on capitol hill. he is going to meet today and have that postponed meeting with the israeli prime minister. we expect that to happen any minute. >> dana: understandable there might be a little shifting on the skid you will. -- schedule. >> bill: chris wallace. what do you think of this profound week so far? >> it's terrible. and this is the one thing that the administration, even in the mess of the evacuations and the way that this has all played out, was hoping against hope that they would be able to pull off the evacuations and they have gotten 100,000, americans and afghan allies and foreign national out of the country. they were hoping against hope they would be able to do this
without the loss of any american lives and of course yesterday that hope was dashed when 13 american troops were killed. they've decided to continue on until august 31st but not a moment before that and we also heard the president yesterday say not necessarily before the 31st that we are going to strike, we are not going to forgive or forget isis-k. we are going to hunt them down and make them pay. but as was said by george w. bush at a time and place of our choosing. >> dana: some of the media headlines from today i just saw this was interesting. i think we have one here. the "washington post". biden struggles to address the most volatile crisis of his presidency. "new york times" biden faces a tragedy he pledged to avoid. "politico", darkest day of joe biden's presidency. not a lot of disagreement about
that. where do you think the administration finds itself and how will they try to talk about this this weekend? >> well, it's interesting. we're hoping for a top administration official to come on the show. the main thing we will focus on on sunday it will be now at that point just 48 hours, two days before the deadline and every hour that passes, this becomes more dangerous, not less, because the press of people to get to the airport becomes even greater and the number of american troops who are inside the gates of the airport to process them is going to be fewer. somehow you have to roll this up so that the last americans, the last afghans to be evacuated are on the last plane with the last american soldiers. this will be as devilishly tricky and dangerous until it's been up to now. the last 48 hours will be worse and we'll have an exclusive
interview with mitch mcconnell. like a lot of democrats and republicans, very critical of the way joe biden has handled these last days of america's involvement at least on the ground in afghanistan. >> bill: let's take you back to yesterday late afternoon. this is president biden on the trump taliban deal. part of what he said. >> president biden: imagine where we would be if i had indicated on may 1st i was not going to renegotiate an evacuation date. we were going to stay there. i had only one alternative. pour thousands of more troops back to afghanistan to fight a war that we had already won relative to the reason we went in the first place. >> bill: leon panetta said we'll have to go back in regardless. i don't know if that's true because for the past year and a
half it has been well marked, no casualties, maybe that was the taliban holding back perhaps. we can argue and debate that certainly. this is pretty much a counter terrorism operation we had ongoing in afghanistan, chris. >> well, a lot of people, including joe biden, would say that's where we should have been a long time ago. remember back in 2009 this is before osama bin laden was killed, when joe biden came in as the vice president to barack obama there was a discussion that went on for weeks what to do about afghanistan. the president ended up going with the military and surging tens of thousands of troops to afghanistan. then the vice president biden was against that. and in fact said to president obama, you are being rolled by the pentagon. he felt at the time it should be a counter terrorism effort. that we shouldn't be involved in nation building and as important as it sounds helping afghan women and promoting democracy, he said what is our real interest in afghanistan? it's preventing it from
becoming a safe haven to attack and we can do that with a much, much smaller footprint. now unfortunately we aren't going to have that. we'll have zero troops at least officially on the ground and that raises the real question when they say well, we have an over the horizon capability to take out isis-k or al qaeda or the taliban, i read somewhere today someone saying it is an over the horizon over the horizon capability. we are so diminished in our ability to deal with all the jihadists that will come into that part of the world. into afghanistan, and that's going to raise real questions. you know, as bad as yesterday was, the president can come back from that but if there is an attack on the u.s. homeland from afghanistan after the withdrawal of all of our troops, that could be curtains for the biden presidency. >> bill: what i heard from that sound bite he had option one or
option two. one was to get out or two another surge. i just don't know if that's necessarily the case. put that to the side you have covered many presidents. what did you think of his standing yesterday? i thought off the teleprompter he made two great points. when he goes to the q and a he sounded soft and timid. everyone looked and sounded defeated including the white house press corps. peter doocy notwithstanding. the whole room was just down. >> well, if you aren't down on a day like yesterday when you have 13 american troops killed, something is wrong with you. you ask about covering a lot of presidents. i thought back to one president, one of the advantages of having been around a long time is you've seen a lot of things. in 1983 when i was covering the white house ronald reagan committed marines to a civil war in lebanon. one day in october of 1983 an
islamic jihad terrorist drove through a checkpoint and exploded a bomb on the marine barracks and killed 241 marines and we didn't do it right away but by february of 84, an election year, reagan pulled all of the marines out. it was a terrible defeat. it was first a terrible tragedy but also a terrible political defeat for reagan policy but things go on and people judge and this is a dark day for the biden presidency according to jen psaki. the worst day of his young presidency but to sit there and say it's an irretrievable point history doesn't bear that out. >> dana: thank you for joining us today. fox news alert here, veterans
seeing an increase in calls from anguished vets across the country to the call ban. -- taliban. do we have leader mccarthy we want to go to? he was giving a little talk but it moved on. we await the pentagon. up next how our nations' heroes can find the help they need and what you can do to help them as well. >> there is a lot of families now that do not understand and the president -- if the president is making the right decision he is doing a terrible job explaining why. how much money can liberty mutual save you? one! two! three! four! five! 72,807! 72,808... dollars. yep... everything hurts. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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>> bill: americans reeling after the attacks yesterday in kabul making the most deadly day for our troops in more than 10 years. one woman is giving a voice to a families of the fallen and she is terrific. her husband, marine staff sergeant was killed in afghanistan in april of 2019. shannon, good morning. how are you doing and get us through it. >> good morning, bill. we are -- i think most of the families are reeling this morning. yesterday i knew for me personally hit me like a ton of bricks. i haven't cried that much in a very long time. i think we were all instantly thrown back into the shoes of
the families that were going to get the knock on the door. and wondering just feeling their pain and knowing all these parents and spouses and children were watching the news and seeing what was going on and knowing there was a chance that somebody was going to be on their front doorstep by that night. >> dana: is there something that happened for you that helped you deal with your grief when that news came to you that we should know about so when these identities are made known, we can reach out? >> i think for me there were a couple different things. there was obviously the support of my family, my husband's family, and our friends was enormous. people respecting boundaries and not reaching out through the internet and stuff like that. you already feel very exposed but also several organizations that reached out to us.
it was the tunnel to towers foundation. i have grown very close to them and the families that we work with through them. but honestly the best person i worked with was a close friend of mine who is an amazing person and who followed through with every single request and every question and every tear that i dealt with through that whole time. >> bill: who was that again, shannon? >> so every gold star family gets a combat action officer. the person that works with you through the entire process and in most cases afterwards they move on. in my case it was a close friend of mine even though he is stationed in japan. >> bill: what did he do for you? >> he answered all the questions. when you sit there and you read
the reports, he answered the questions that i couldn't answer for myself. >> dana: what a beautiful family. shannon, thank you so much for your time. we'll have you in our prayers and these families that are, as you said, going to be informed about this terrible loss. thank you so much. >> absolutely. thank you. >> bill: live now to the pentagon today. >> we have a lot of additional detail to offer you about the attack yesterday at the abbey gate but i can confirm for you that we do not believe there was a second explosion at or near the baron hotel. it was one suicide bomber. we aren't sure how that report was provided incorrectly but we do know it is not a surprise that in the confusion of very dynamic events like this can cause information sometimes to be misreported. we felt it was important to correct the record with you all here.
you've now seen we've updated our casualty list to include a 13th service member killed in action. our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families and to the teammates that we have lost. this is a devastating time for these gold star families, a title no one wants to hold but we absolutely hold in the utmost respect. two flights landed at ramstein today carrying wounded personnel from the attack. these personnel have been transferred to a regional medical center and receiving care. in kabul commanders on the ground continue to assess the risk and dynamic situation there as they have been since the beginning. force protection remains paramount with the continued threat.
we've continued the evacuation mission yesterday as you saw and as you reported last night and i'll give you an update of how things have gone in the last 24 hours. yesterday 35 u.s. military aircraft, 29 c-17s and 6 c-130s departed with 6,800 personnel. additional 4,000 personal left for staging bases. 89 flights total yesterday out of kabul totally 12,500 evacuees now safely out of afghanistan in a 24-hour period. in the past 24 hours, more than 300 american citizens were evacuated from afghanistan bringing our updated total to approximately 5,100. we continue to maximize our
efficiency and since u.s. and coalition forces began the evacuation approximately 111,000 evacuees have departed safely. the state department consular officers continue to screen and process people arriving at gates around kabul. some gates are closed but american citizens, siv applicants and vulnerable afghans who have the proper credentials will continually to be processed for departure from the airfield. there are still approximately 5,400 individuals on the airport as of this report awaiting flights out of afghanistan. we have the ability to include evacuees on u.s. military airlift out of afghanistan until the very end. the department of defense has the continued responsibility to support the state department in the ongoing movement evacuees
through our intermediate staging bases and safe havens all the way to the united states in the coming days and weeks. on that topic a quick update on the military installations in our safe havens and staging bases in centcom and u com helping transition all these flights. centcom locations receive, process and transfer passengers to follow-on locations in europe and the united states. today u com will receive 19 flights and approximately 5,000 passengers in germany, italy and spain, including the naval station. in turn six flights will transport 3,300 people from europe to the united states. i cannot say enough how important the contribution of our allies and our partners has been in this massive global
operation. additionally more evacuees continue to arrive stateside and are moving to designated installations throughout north com. the north com commanding general will provide a more focused briefing on this extensive effort in his brief later today. in conclusion, i will reiterate what general mckenzie said yesterday. there are more than 5,000 u.s. service members in harm's way saving as many people as they can. it's a noble mission. we have seen firsthand how dangerous that mission is but isis will not deter us from accomplishing this mission. we appreciate your thoughts and prayers for all of our service members who are carrying on this mission today. above all, we remain focused on evacuating american citizens and other personnel designated by the department of state
safeguarding the lives of those whom we are providing assistance and keeping american troops safe. thank you. >> one other thing to add and a good segue from what the general ended with. today the department of defense can announce it has authorized marine corp base fort picket, virginia and an air force base in new mexico to support the mission to evacuate special immigrant visa applicants, families and other at-risk individuals. these installations join fort lee, fort mccoy and fort bliss in providing this support. defense department will provide temporary housing, sustainment and support inside the united
states for a capacity of up to 50,000 afghan special immigrant visa applicants, families and other at-risk individuals. u.s. northern command will coordinate the details of all this with the state department. department of homeland security and department of health and human services as necessary and will be provided under presidential drawdown authority to the maximum extent possible with additional support being provided on a reimbursable bailss. -- basis. we have the general of the northern command coming in this afternoon to provide a lot more context on that. with that we'll take questions. >> for the general, the president has said he wants to vowed to get back at isis. how difficult will it be for the u.s. military to do that type of operation considering the lower number of troops and the difficulty in getting intelligence on the ground and then i don't know if this is
you or john. can you just talk about the number of people that will see getting processed over the next several days. will that number gradually go down? do you have the number of people you think are going to or what is your ballpark estimate? >> on the first question on our capabilities and abilities to protect ourselves or to also conduct the strikes as you said, as i've said all along, we have resources with the centcom commander and commanders on the ground and the capabilities to allow us to execute any type of those operations as those are required to do. >> again we're still planning on ending this mission at the end of the month. as i said the other day, as we get closer and we are getting
closer, you are going to see us begin to make those muscle movements to pull out our troops and some of our equipment as appropriate with any retrograde. what we want to do is preserve as much capability for as long as we can both in terms of the security footprint but also in terms of the ability that the general alluded in his opening statement to moving out evacuees. lives are still the priority and the lives of our troops and of course the lives of the evacuees in trying to continue to get as many out as possible. there will be a balance over the next few days as we continue to process through that transition, as we continue to as what we call retrograde. i can't give you a specific number on any given day. but i think you will see us adjust as necessary to make sure that we are achieving that proper balance. we'll be able to fly out
evacuees right up until the last moment. that's going to be the goal. you didn't ask this but i want to take the opportunity to convey to all of you that as we did before, when we began retrograde or withdrawal back in april, we were very judicious about the detail that we were putting out and i just want to level set with all of you that you will see us become more judicious going forward as we get closer to the end of the month about what information we're giving you in terms of how many troops on the ground. i would not expect us to be giving that number out going forward. and what the capabilities are and where they are and what they are doing. we will be very mindful of the operational security element of this and i think yesterday is a stark, grim reminder of why that's important going forward. i know that's not what you asked but i wanted to take an opportunity to get that out there. >> how can you say with such certainty and how can general
mckenzie say with such certainty that the taliban were not involved? in the suicide bombing? are you ruling out them being involved because you are so dependent on the taliban right now? >> i didn't hear general mckenzie put it that way, jen. in one of the questions he got and i think it was -- he was asked was there a failure. he said there was a failure somewhere obviously and alluded to the fact it could have been a taliban checkpoint. so we've not been certain about that at all. there will be an investigation. we'll try to learn as much as we can about what happened and i really don't want to get ahead of that process. >> in terms of isis-k, how many of those prisoners were left at bagram and believed to have been released from the prison there and why weren't they removed to someplace like gitmo? >> i don't know the exact number.
it is in the thousands when you consider both prisons. because both of them were taken over by the taliban and emptied. but i couldn't give you a precise figure. as for emptying out remember, we were turning things over to afghan national security forces. that was part of the retrograde process was to turn over these responsibilities. they did have responsibility for those prisons and the bases at which the prisons were located. as the taliban advanced we didn't see the level of resistance by the afghans to hold some territory, some bases and unfortunately those were bases that the afghans didn't hold. all of those responsibilities were turned over in accordance with the retrograde plan back from april. >> general mckenzie talked about wanting to talk to the taliban about pushing the perimeter back as one of the
ways to avoid another incident. has that happened and if it's significantly been pushed back and what are you seeing in abbey gate? less people being allowed in? still a rush of people that could lead to a similar incident? what do you see today? >> what i can report as my discussion with commanders on the ground is that multiple activities are taken place to increase the force protection specifically in communication with the taliban of how they are executing their checkpoint operations and communication there. i would say there has been multiple -- i don't want to go into the details of exact what the communication but i know it's happened. what we've seen today is a little lessening of what we would say total capacity of people in and around gates.