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tv   Katy Tur Reports  MSNBC  August 26, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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because it means folks were able to get out of this. >> thank you, chuck. we will be back tomorrow with more "meet the press daily." i turn it over the my good friend geoff bennett. >> thank you, chuck. we want to bring you up to the minute with what we know as we are waiting for more breaking news from the pentagon. a short time ago, the pentagon confirmed that u.s. servicemen have been killed in kabul. more u.s. service members have been wounded. we don't know the exact numbers, but this what we know as best we can piece it together. two explosions near the airport and one at a crowd near the gate packed with afghans hoping to get through the gate.
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another one that was about two football fields long serving as a hotel for evacuees, including the americans before they make their way to the airport. you can see the footage shot by richard engel and his team days ago. there the abbey gate and the drainage canal, and the four blast walls that you can see there. this is what the area looked like before the suicide bombings. the information coming in is very fluid, and this is not unusual with the circumstances is like this. but the taliban say that 13 people are dead including children, and dozens more left badly injured and maimed and those numbers could blow. the pentagon is calling it a complex attack, and officials are calling it a strong indication here that it is caused by isis-k which is a break off of the isis group, and
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also an enemy of the taliban here in washington. here in washington, president biden is being briefed by the top military and officials who sit with him. and we are asking when and if we will hear from him, and the major questions of what this means for the evacuation of the troops and the safety of the troops and the americans and the other foreign nationals, and the allies in the country. joining us is our nbc news correspondent courtney kube and mike memoli and over to you, courtney, the details are limited, because the first
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details of the pentagon is to piece together what transpired this morning. >> so, we know that there were two explosions that occurred. you have laid it out pretty well in the intro, geoff. one is at the abbey gate attached to the airport, and the other is at the baron hotel is a matter of 100 meters of the abbey gate of the hotel. so the pentagon is verifying there were u.s. service members attacked and killed at that attack. there were marines at the abbey gate. they were there for several days checking the people who came through the gate to get on the planes. there were times u.s. consular officials to make sure they were getting the right people through that gate. what we also know is that
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security has been a concern, and add to that the abbey gate, and it is well known to the viewers at this point. that is the gate we saw that a baby was lifted over a u.s. marine grabbing the baby up and took him in for medical treatment. it is also the gate that is the site of large crowds where people are desperately trying to get through the gate and on to the evacuation flights. because of the large crowds, the u.s. is worried about the security there and not among the evacuees, but the possibility of some nefarious element such as isis-k could infiltrate the crowds and carry out an attack. as you mentioned, it is unlikely that isis-k was behind the attacks. there is no firm attribution, but the threats that the u.s. was tracking were exactly what we saw carry out today.
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the concern of a suicide bomber or the suicide attack or the vehicle-borne improvided sight, and carry out to see the images today. what we are hearing from the pentagon, several u.s. military were among the wounded and killed and reports of dozen afghan civilians wound and killed here, geoff. >> courtney, talking about the security concerns, this is an existing ever-present ongoing threat. this threat did not end with today's attack, correct? >> correct. there's an isis presence in afghanistan. that is not a surprise. there is even a particularly isis group right there in kabul that has presented a threat for several years now, but just because this attack was carried out, it does not mean that the security situation in the
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airport can decareer, but it is the opposite of that. and so now they have to shore up the security around the other gates as well, and i suspect what was already a difficult situation for people to get into the gates is going to be more so now, and now that we have seen this deadly attack at one of the locations. and this is, all this does is to make it a very difficult logistical situation at the airport not only to get the people through the gates but to get them into the airport and get them manifested and on to flights. this is already a tough situation only made more difficult now with today's attack, geoff. >> one last question, courtney to cut you loose to continue the reporting. we heard from the state department they were in contact with 500 americans who wanted to be evacuate and a state department briefing canceled for obvious reasons today, and has the pentagon said whether or not they were able to evacuate the
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americans before the attack today? >> we have not. the idea they were able to get all 500 out before this attack, seems unlikely, candidly. maybe they were able to get some, and evacuation flights were continuing, but the pace slowed down and the u.s. embassy put out an alert warning the americans to stay away from the airport. so most likely, and we don't have good numbers yet, but most likely if the americans were heeding the advice, they were not going to the airport and not able to get the people on the flight, so if americans were able to get out, it had to be people who were already on the airport waiting to get on the planes. >> thank you, courtney kube for the report. and turning to you, mike memoli, a lot of cancellations in the president's plan, because he was hunkered down with the top advisers and now he is in the oval office, and do you expect
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to hear from him today? >> well, every expectation we would hear from the president especially after the loss of american life. that would be the bare minimum. and just getting on the air, and a new details about how this morning had transpired, and the president arrived for a standing meeting of this crisis with the top national security and the defense secretary there in the "situation room," and of course, in that meeting in the "situation room" that took place over the several hours, they were getting realtime updates on the ground to the president directly, and interesting indication of how the morning played out for the president. he was scheduled to meet at 11:30 with the israeli prime
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minister and first face-to-face with naphtali bennett, and that meeting is postponed for a day, and the press on the israeli side who had arrived for that have since left the white house, and all indications tomorrow. and the president remains in the oval office, and the obvious considerations are the remarks and working with the team to draft the remarks and how the explain this to the country, and think about what we have heard from the remarks of since july 8th infamous east room event where he talked about the plans for withdrawal, and then the president was predicting this would not look like saigon, and we would not she the chaos from the withdrawal from vietnam, and then over the course of the last week, the president has been saying that there is a sort of
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the acceptable level of chaos, and the understandable level of chaos, which is the rapid collapse of the afghan government now, and the unacceptable loss of american life, but it is one that officials had been warning about increasingly of the last two days and providing updates of the accelerating pace of evacuating they were quietly racing the alarm, and concern of the possibility of the terrorist threat that remained on the ground, and clearly those intelligent reports very concerned about were reallied. but they are stressing no formal attribution has been made yet. >> let's bring in general barry mccaffery. as you know, the last daysf battle are the most dangerous. i want to lean into your experience. give us a sense of the experience and advice that the president is getting? we know about the prepared
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contingency, but knowing the evacuation process, and what would you say? >> i have been utterly astonished of the language on tv by people who are smart and experienced like h.r. mcmaster and others like congressman kinzinger, and we would be nuts to decide to unilaterally stay on a kabul airport 7,000 miles from home, and 600 miles from the sea with one brigade surrounded by mountains and build-up area, unless the taliban extended it. en -- even then it is not good. it is nuts. you could not find one lieutenant colonel at university
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to sign up for that. thank god for admiral stavridis to state the obvious. we have to collapse that thing and get out of there on time. the marines and the paratroopers are terrific fighters, but which have been the last guy out on extractions is under fire, and this is complex business, and we don't want to mess it up. sorting out the svis and the afghan citizens should be over. we have need to extract the forces. >> that is my question, to what degree does this single event as tragic and heartbreaking this is affect the overall strategy, and you are saying the mission continues at pace. >> absolutely, and it may be worse. at some point, we will have a company of paratroopers on the
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runway with the last c-130s coming in the dark to take them out, and hopefully the taliban will not turn on us. i doubt they will. we are winding down the operation, and there is no leverage left. we are easy for anybody who wants to take a shot at us. we need to stay on track, and stop the evacuation, because it is complicating the matters which is putting them at risk as well as the troops on the ground. >> and now i want to bring you into the reaction, and to what we have seen transpire today. >> well, geoff, it is heartbreaking, and in many way s a drum beat of warnings.
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obviously, the intelligence had been tracking this isis-k, and that is to both inflict the mass sufferings there at the airport, and to some extent demonstrate they are going to be a group isis at odds with the taliban and also to have the optic of essentially shooting at the united states on the way out. that very much tracks with kind of the ideology of groups like isis who want to be perceived at the vanguard of the opposition of the united states. the tragedy here is compounded by the loss of life of the americans and afghans and compounded by the people we are trying to get out, and the americans and the sivs and the last chance to get them to safety, otherwise, they are
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facing an arduous journey to tajikistan or pakistan, and the decision at the white house is how many people to get out before the window closes of having a presence on the ground, and having an evacuation mechanism in place. i think that already from talking to people in afghanistan, and talking to the people trying to get out, they had shifted from letting the people in the gates to having the convoys coming into the airport. so that is the only way of getting the people out, and the people that you literally are bringing in to what is a much more fortified airport than it is. but as general mccaffery said, that we don't have the resources that we need. so from the administration, it is a question of what do we know about the further threats, and action to mitigate the threats, and more people to evacuate before the focus is going to shift to getting out the americans who are there as part of the evacuation effort.
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>> when you are talking about how the options and the resources are limbed in -- are limited in afghanistan, i wanted to talk about the taliban, because they have proclaimed the chief of security is this guy khalil haqqani who is designated a terrorist by the u.s. government and was and is subject to a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture, and so what is that suggesting to the situation on the ground there? >> well, again, as general mccaffery knows, he has been a principle antagonist launching attacks against the u.s. military, and what we have seen, the taliban was trying to make maximum use of the window, to try to show from the public relations standpoint, because i don't trust it at all that they were more credible actor than they had been in the past, that
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they were able to man checkpoints, and able to at least not work against the u.s. evacuation effort. what we have seen and heard anecdotally on the ground is that the taliban checkpoints are increasingly arduous places, and on august 31st, the taliban is saying that they want the united states to keep the deadline and maybe not referring to attacking the united states, but certainly to not allowing anybody in the airport and the taliban controls area around the airport and once you lose the cooperation of the taliban to faciitate moving people to the airport, and once you the director cia to sit down with the de facto leader of the taliban, it was trying to maximize this window to get out as many people out as we could, and the taliban knows that afghanistan is going to be in a dire circumstance, and they need
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international assistance and maybe they are concerned about the potential of civil conflict in the role that the united states may or may not play. so there is an effort on america's behalf where the taliban could facilitate or enable these evacuation, and that window, too, is closing, because the taliban has consistently said that august 31st is the date at which they expect to see the united states out of afghanistan entirely. >> yeah. general mccaffery, shifting the attention back to today's attack. the warnings that americans were give even if you are in the entryways, you need to get out, and how could they have been so accurate but not precise enough to stop it, is that intelligence or operations issue having to do with the military footprint having to do around the airport?
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>> well, i was astonished that we were so public with the announcement, because it is obvious to me it is tactical on the ground, and voice intercept saying that the attack was forming up. look, the important point to talk about isn't that attack, but on the 31st of august, the taliban can and will close down the air space. i hear ben rhodes, they are unlikely to attack the forces on the ground, and they can fire a few dozen round, and c-130s won't fly in, and commercial won't for insurance purposes, so there is no payoff to keep a lone brigade on kabul airport. it is increasingly risky. the last forces out are going to be, you know, it is going to be a tricky proposition. i doubt they are in great peril
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from the taliban. if they did, we have to escalate massively and we would. we would have the intelligence at close range is good, but our control stops at the gate. we have zero control over anything outside of it. that is really an argument for closing down the evacuation right now. >> general mccaffery stand by for us right now, sir, because as we push this conversation forward, today's attack in afghanistan came hours after the u.s. government and the allies warned of the potential of an imminent security threat at the airport in kabul. according to the pentagon sources there was credible information that the group known as isis-k, the islamic arm was going to attack the crowd around the airport, and isis-k is a rival of the taliban in
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afghanistan. general barry mccaffery and ben rhodes is still with us, and joining us is ben douglas, chairman of southeast asia and fellow at the middle east institute, and doug, you are responsible for the afghanistan assessments prepared for president trump and in private service, you were preparing for candidate biden's working group. what did you tell the biden's team about this isis affiliate? >> well, the state of the khorasan province as they are known. over the past five year, six of the leaders, and six of the leaders have been killed or captured or recapture and what i have seen in the press, the taliban when they released the prisoners from bagram air force base, they have killed the last that was caught. so despite the losses of the mid-level operatives, they have managed to be resilient particularly when it comes to
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these terrorist operation, and measuring isis-k is not a matter of fighting, but to operate. because of the pressure, they are able to decentralize and become independent cells. they are good at low tech operation. when we say complex, it is not like a great deal of sophistication, but it is a cell to attack and bring in the first responders and then the second attack. we are trying to bring in the details of how it was executed, but i suspect that is how it was brought in. so both recognize the threat of the isis-k, and we we hear about credible reporting, that means a great deal of confidence, and sometimes when the reports are put into the public play, there is some degree of hope by publicizing, it would scare off of the attackers, but another thing of intelligence, it is
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reported in the past sense. what we have learned is that what is planned at that time is subject to changing, because it can change from timing to modality, but it is clear that they knew. what you asked general mccaffery, there are usually rings of security. usually a ring of afghan police and army before they get to the american service members. now i'm not on the ground there, but from what i have seen, there is some degree of assistance from the afghan security units that the cia helped to support in the years, but it is clear that people were able to get up and close to the marines, and the consular personnel, and the push for evacuation. so not the normal routines or procedures to be encountered. that is the nature of our inquisition to find out what is happening with so many thousands
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of people. >> i don't know if you were hearing earlier, doug, but general mccaffery invoked the words of general mcmaster, and he pointed out the flaws of his analysis. i want to play more of what general mcmaster had to say, and get your reaction it to on the other side. >> we will uncover evidence that this has happened with the full knowledge of haqqanis and certainly elements of the taliban if not the most senior leadership. >> so it is your opinion that this attack based on what we know was carried out by elements of the taliban? what would they have to gain? >> well, there is no doubt that it is carried out with the help of the taliban, but they want people to know that they are in charge, and by having this operation happen under their
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noses in kabul, without their knowing would be embarrassing. and the isis-k would be a real rival for resources and money, and as far as kabul, they are able to get resources that the haqqanis don't want the taliban to have. and khalil haqqani has a $5 million reward as well as the pakistani chief of staff there in the government service, and so as i would say, that we are hearing that this is an isisk attack, and low level attack, because of so many soft targets there, and very little pressure on them, and very low level security services, and the cia is not there in robust presence to do the type of collections that we could do, and so we were able to get some good reporting,
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but how deep, and how sustained is going to be flexible. as we lose our ability to meet with the sources, and they will be sucked in based on the catastrophe on the ground. >> you have experience with advising presidents, and what are the options that sit before him? what is the advice that he is likingly getting, ben rhodes? >> well, the threshold question is that this attack combined with the august 31st deadline leads to a decision to expedite all of the americans serving there at the airport as fast as possible or whether there is some remaining effort that looks like we are leaving on our schedule to finish off some evacuations, and something to weigh the risks of what they are seeing of the intelligence and the security vulnerabilities of
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this attack against whatever it is they think would be left to be achieved through the evacuation mission, and including the dangerous mission that the hundreds of americans want to get out and the danger they are in. because you are measuring the balance of the lives of the americans who are serving and the lives of the afghans and the americans who are trying to get out. so it is a difficult picture with no good options. i think that from the communications standpoint, it is very important for them to be as clear as candid as level set with the american people about how difficult this has been. it is an incredibly difficult set of images to play out, and truly painful end to what is an incredibly difficult war. instead of the positive light on this, and good to evacuate a lot of people, but sometimes you have to lay out the facts for
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what they are, and level with the american people of how hard the choices are, and there is no good options with all of the options, and be forth right of the thinking that yo have, and i think that president biden having the outcome that he did not want is having americans harmed in this way, and more likely than not is a fairly expedited drawdown of the u.s. presence, but it is very important that he lay it all out for people as clearly and candidly as possible. >> doug london, looking at the pictures there on the screen of the aftermath of the attack, and we have heard a lot lately about this new quote, unquote taliban 2.0 who has the current leaders of not the same hard core leaders that people associate with the taliban of yesterday or from the 1990s or the early 2000ed and is that in any way a
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contributing factor to isis-k pushing back to the taliban rule? >> i am skeptical to the isis 2.0 is real. it is part of the narrative and effective to the white house of the biden white house, and the trump white house before it. i know that we are representatives of the taliban has not had representatives that reflect that. one of the deputies and the chief of the haqqani taliban network, and neither is the other deputy who is carrying the title of chief military commission, and the other leader who is the poster child for engagement was known for shooting women in football stadiums. he is out of touch, and in jail in pakistan for eight years.
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the taliban did not want to get him out, and he is very good on television, and charming, but he does not speed for what the tall bap wants in mind, but that narrative is fodder. you are talking about the group whose five leaders have left the violent offshoot in pakistan, and a pakistan version of the taliban and they seek to overcome the pakistani government, and they took over a pakistani school, and they left this group to join another group, because they wanted to see more violence. so while i don't believe in the sincerity of the taliban, and it looks good when there is tv cameras, and so good, i think that the violence is the retall -- reality, and the double
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edged sword, and so we have to say that we are the bert alternative. >> my thank you to ben rhodes and doug, for your insights. general mccaffery is going to stick around. we will look more into the evacuations. stay with us. evacuations. stay with us. my nunormal? fewer asthma attacks with nucala. a once-monthly add-on injection for severe eosinophilic asthma. nucala reduces eosinophils, a key cause of severe asthma. nucala is not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face, mouth, tongue or trouble breathing. infections that can cause shingles have occurred. don't stop steroids unless told by your doctor. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection.
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in the aftermath of today's explosions in afghanistan, the state department renewed the warnings for all americans still in country to stay away from the airport in kabul until further notice. today's events injected a fresh
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uncertainty into the massive effort to evacuate thousands of americans and afghans and already one of the largest airlifts in u.s. history. back with us is u.s. pentagon correspondent courtney kube and matt zeller who is the author of "no one left behind" and former cia analyst, and also author of "watches without time." and courtney, what can you tell us about the new state department warning, and if you have learned anything since the last half hour that we have spoke, let us know. >> yeah, so, this morning/overnight, the u.s. in kabul were warning the americans against coming to the airport and they were worried about the attack that we saw occur today, geoff, and this is the potential for a suicide attack. there has been a persistent threat that has existed for a week now from isis khorasan, and that is the one that we have been hearing from, and we don't know who carried out the attack
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here, and while all of the signs, if you are looking at the threat stream that existed and what actually occurred here, it is plausible that it is isis, but we do not have confirmation. we know two explosions, one at abbey gate, and one at baron hotel. in addition to the dozens of afghanis who were injured or killed, there were a number of americans killed. there were marines at abbey gate to help bring the u.s. nationals and others to the gate to get them to the evacuation flights. we don't have a good sense of who was killed, but we know numerous at this point. so, the big question is how did this attack occur. the taliban had been essentially providing perimeter security at wider area around the airport. they had the airport surrounded,
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and many of the fighters doing that security were among the best, most elite fighters. once you got through the checkpoint, there were soldiers and marines who were providing the security in this evacuation effort, so the question is how did multiple explosives get through the taliban check point and make their way all of the way to the gate there at the abbey gate, and exactly who may have been behind this, geoff. so that is the questions that we are hoping to get questions at them at the pentagon briefing in a little bit. and then the next other question that everyone has on their minds is if there is a u.s. response to what happened here. >> matt zeller, you have extensive contacts in afghanistan as you have been trying over the last couple of weeks to help evacuate people, and what are you telling the contacts and people who are
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still there telling you? >> we are here on the broadcast that i agree with the analysis that the evacuation is over, and the gates are welded shut. so we are telling the contacts to make preparations to go to ground. we have asked them, and instructed them to burn all documents to tie them to forces, and take pictures of them and burn them to the cloud, and act like we never knew them, and that their lives never transpire and now we are doing phase two, the afghan underground railroad and figure out ways to get them out of the country. i agree, there needs to be a humanitarian corridor, air bridge or the land crossing to neighboring country to allow the afghans who want to leave to get
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out. there is going to be some clandestine efforts undertaken by governments and private individuals. those efforts are going to have to be supported. this is going to take years, the easy part of the evacuation were the last couple of week, and the biden administration should be commended for getting as many folks out, but the reality is that there is actually now around 175,000 or more people that we are tracking that need to be evacuated. it is going to take years. i realize that the public interests is going to wane and go on the whatever next crises comes up, but those who committed to this will not go away. august 31st is a date on the calendar and we will not stop no matter how long it takes. >> the imagine for most americans, and help us understand, if afghan allies are
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not able to get out by the 31st, and near the airport is there any hope of getting out or any reason to think that they could go dark as you used the phrase for a month or two, and then to find the safe passage of a neighboring country, is that within the realm of possibility? >> it depends, but there is concern that the taliban has taken control of the cell phone providers and if they decide to shut them down, it is going to be extremely difficult to communicate with them, so we are trying to have ways to communicate with them. the next is that the taliban don't have complete control, and the next area is kabul, and the growing resistance which is the legitimate leader in panjshir,
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and so i would think that as this goes on and we consolidate and effectively control the inner parts of afghanistan and the border crossings, it is going to be increasingly more difficult unless there is a humanitarian corridor to be put in place. but the prospect is dark. to be clear for the afghans who now live there, and imagine if you woke up tomorrow, and you are a woman, and you could not go out of your house, and you could not go out without a male escort, and you are fired from your job. so now in this country we have a debate over the version of history skews one side of the aisle or another, and tomorrow, it is compulsory islamic shariah, and this is the basis and all sports, all arts and all culture aspects of lie that you could celebrate are now considered sinful, and are banned that is why one of the
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individuals clinging to the side of the c-17 fell off was a 17-year-old kid part of the afghan youth soccer team was trying to get out, because the soccer stadium that he dreamed of playing in is now going to be turning into the site of mass executions, so a dark day ahead for our afghan brothers and sister, but they have to be clear that there is a digital dunkirk movement, and we will be committed to get every one of them out for whatever means it take and for however long it takes. >> today, the report was 250,000 afghans who would be effectively stuck in afghanistan, and the folks who had worked in the mission for 20 years, and i heard you say there is an estimate of 175,000 people qualified for the expedited visas to get out of the country, and it appears that most of the folks will stay there after the u.s. wraps up the engagement there at the end of the month,
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and what is that going to do to the u.s. standing in the world, matt? >> well, it all depends. i hope that people can make the critical distinction between our government's decisions, and what the american people are trying to do. the fiasco in afghanistan is held by all of us and successful administrations. mark hetfeld is correct that pit began with the gross failure of the visa program which spans multiple administrations in both parties and lot of it is held by the trump administration and the absolute malfeasance brought to light, and that created a massive backlog of individuals who needed to be evacuated now here at the last moment. i have been very clear in my statements, and i don't have to rearticulate how this current evacuation could have gone if our warnings had been heeded,
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but i truly have concerns that we have set a scary example. we trusted security in kabul to terrorists and we are now unfortunately seeing what has befallen. if you had seen any of my appearance, none of the coalition have talked about this, because we were afraid of this, and we did not want to inspire anybody with the rhetoric, but that is what was our fear is this type of attack in those crowds, but for the afghans left behind, this is the daily existence and the daily reality is that they are stuck between the taliban on one side abhorrent and evil, and the isis cor
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corason who are also abhorrent and evil. >> thank you, matt. we are waiting for the pentagon briefing at 3:00 p.m., and we will of course bring it to you live. at this hour, president biden is in the oval office where he is going to be continued to be briefed where we are talking about all morning about the attack in kabul. and he rescheduled the meeting with the new israeli minister. and we go to mike memoli, and ann guerin, and also retired general barry mccaffery, and mike, any updates, bring them to us. and mike, what we saw is precisely what the administration feared and what the national security adviser had been warning us about. >> yes, so much of the focus has
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been about the accelerating pace of the evacuations, and the sort of incongruous moments of the taliban working alongside the u.s. armed service members who were at the airport and unusual alliance to try and get as many of to individuals is out as possible, and all along, our team has been working to track, this and the administration has been clear in speaking about the concern they had about the threat of isis on the ground there, and in fact, just yesterday, the white house press secretary jen psaki reiterated that is the concern foremost of the president's numbers around the airport that it was a target, and the last extensive remarks from the president that he said the longer we stay, the acute and growing risk of an attack from the terrorist group
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isis-k, and so this is something that is part of the dominant coverage there, and the worst fears are realized. you ran through the scheduling dates of that postponement of the meeting of the new israeli prime minister a day. and we should hear from the president himself today, and we don't know the nature of the remarks or where they will be, but clearly, a moment, and given the tragic loss of life, and concerning that the statement from the pentagon that we received on this does not indicate a number at this point. that is the concern of the president at this point as he is remaining huddled with his advisers in the west wing. it is this morning just before that meeting this week all week with the national security team that the reports of the explosion came in, and once that report came in, the president got direct updates from the commanders there on the ground, and that is how the president's morning transpired as the tragic
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events occurred here, geoff. >> and now, ann guerin, you come to us with the experience of covering the white house, foreign policy and national policy, and this is the first time that u.s. service members have been killed in afghanistan since february 2020. and how do you think that the administration plans to respond to this? >> geoff, they have no good options to respond. the president's options are to speed up the evacuation of the exit of the u.s. forces ahead of the august 31st deadline, and speed up the evacuation of any remaining americans, and we don't know what that number is, but it is in the neighborhood of 500 and move it up and get people out quicker or say that he wants to stay longer to make
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sure that all americans are out, and essentially put this on the taliban and say, you know, we understood that you were going to help secure the outside of the airport while we worked on the inside, and you failed to do that. that seems unlikely to me. he could vow revenge against the perpetrators once they are identified, and the top culprit is this isis-k, isis khorasan. and so that is going to embarrass the taliban, and so that is another consideration. and so now he has to contend
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with the fact that this is more than was killed in afghanistan than the whole of 2020. >> and general mccaffery, what do you make that this would not have happened if bagram was still open, and that is a more fortified area with multiple runways, and that a fair criticism? >> look, the biden administration pulled the troops out, and that is a cascade of even events. i have heard many talking about recapturing bagram, and that would be the biggest airborne operation since world war ii, and it is not even remotely going to happen. it is off of the table. right now, we have one brigade on one runway on the edge of kabul. i have heard people talking
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about nightmare scenarios, if we stay against the will of the taliban on wednesday morning the nightmare scenario is light machine gun fire and a dozen mortar rounds as relearn who is responsible or what group is responsible for today's attack, i mean, jeb,
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does the u.s. retaliate? what does that look out? that makes weighing priorities even more of a complicated decision making process. >> you know, there have been a lot of discussions about taliban 2.0 which makes me laugh. these are the most brutal factions imaginable. there is very loose control over the taliban. never mind the few hundred operatives at isis-k. we don't have good targets. we're not going to use air power in downtown kabul or tomahawk missiles. basically, again, keep your u on the challenge here. the challenge is complete the extraction of u.s. forces and then deal with the consequences in a sensible way.
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>> and as we talk about worst case scenarios, as the white house gets -- receives all of this criticism for what transpired and how this unfolded, are there talks resignations? >> there are certainly rumors that somebody could either be fired or quit on principle over this. i don't have reporting today. but clearly any time you have a crisis of this magnitude, it implicates senior leaders. one option for the president the president is for him to say as a result he's firing x, y, or z. you know, that seems unlikely. beyond that, the way that this
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evacuation of vulnerable afghans has gone has been demoralizing to a lot of people who work for the president. in hopes of making the world a better place, we're presiding over what was increasingly looking like a debacle and human rights problem for the administration. that argument change that's whole predicate changes today because now we have the exactly the same as president biden most feared which is the death of u.s. forces during this very vulnerable time. >> i thank you all. thousands of refugees that made
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the trip out of afghanistan and are now in america but many were forced to leave family and friends behind. we'll bring you the stories after the break. nd we'll bring you the stories after the break. i don't know. i think they look good, man. mm, smooth. uh, they are a little tight. like, too tight? might just need to break 'em in a little bit. you don't want 'em too loose. for those who were born to ride there's progressive. with 24/7 roadside assistance. -okay. think i'm gonna wear these home. -excellent choice. [grunts] with 24/7 roadside assistance. -♪ ♪y. [grunts] pnc bank believes that if a pair of goggles can help your backhand get better... yeah! ...then your bank should help you budget even better. (laughing) virtual wallet® is so much more than a checking account. its low cash mode feature gives you at least 24 hours of extra time to help you avoid an overdraft fee. you see that? virtual wallet® with
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here. people are trying to find out the latest from kabul of any relatives that might still be in the city. and desperate to get out. now behind me as you mentioned, the dulles expo center. hundreds of people have been here, thousands of people have flown into virginia and today we've seen bus after bus after bus heading to other parts of the country. we're told at least one of them heading to new jersey today. and some of these afghan evacuees are being resettled in different parts of the country including military bases in wisconsin and texas, for example. yesterday we spoke with a man that lived in virginia and started an organization of rise to peace. and he has desperately been trying to help guide afghans out of kabul, giving them advice, guidance, directions, trying to get them into the airport. he actually told us to day he knew several families who were in the area when the blast went off. we spoke with him though about
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how difficult it's been to get some of those family members, u.s. citizens and also afghans that work with the u.s. out of kabul. take a listen. >> i'm speaking to the taliban. and speaking to the security guards. i speak to everyone. i didn't even know these people. but i want to make sure the people get into the base. >> how many family members have you gotten out? >> my immediate family, 17. >> 17 immediate family members? >> yes. >> and how many people total? sh. >> 68. >> in a few days? >> in just a few days. >> so again, 17 immediate family members he got out. 68 people overall. he's trying to communicate with them as the hours go by today. trying to get more information just told them he was able to reach one person. one person he knew, an afghan there at the blast site about a half hour before the explosion went off. and he says the person left is because he is trying to stay in a safe location in kabul.
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as you can imagine, jeff, for the afghan is that are here and trying to reach relatives still in afghanistan, it has been a harrowing few hours after news of the blasts broke. jeff? >> gabe, thank you. and we just have a statement here coming into our newsroom from secretary of defense lloyd austin about the u.s. service members who were killed in that explosion. that terrorist attack in kabul today. i'll read it for you. it says this -- on behalf of the men and women of the department of defense, to all those culled and wounded in, terrorists took their lives at the moment they were trying to save the lives of others. we mourn their loss. we'll treat their wounds and we'll support their families in what will most assuredly be brief but we won't dissuade from the task atan

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