Biden to leave White House for Delaware tomorrow as Afghan mess rages and thousands of US citizens and Afghan allies remain stranded in Kabul: Has only spent four of 15 days of crisis in DC

 Joe Biden will leave Washington DC on Saturday for his holiday home in Delaware - exiting the White House amid the biggest crisis of his presidency.

The president will have spent only four days in the last 15 in the White House since the Taliban took their first regional capital, with the rest of the time at Camp David or in Delaware.

His vice president, Kamala Harris, left DC on Friday night for an Asia tour. She will be absent from Washington for a week, visiting Singapore, Vietnam and then California. Her office insisted she will continue to work on the Afghan crisis while she is in Asia.

Biden also has access to secure command and control centers at all locations he travels.

This comes after Biden's widely panned speech from the White House that presented a reality totally at odds with what is going on in Afghanistan and at Kabul airport.  

Indeed, minutes after Biden said the mission to destroy Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was a success and that he knew of no circumstances where Americans had been unable to reach Kabul airport, he was flatly contradicted by the Pentagon.

Joe Biden is seen with Kamala Harris on Friday afternoon, addressing the nation before she flew to Singapore. On Saturday he will depart for Wilmington, Delaware

Joe Biden is seen with Kamala Harris on Friday afternoon, addressing the nation before she flew to Singapore. On Saturday he will depart for Wilmington, Delaware

Yes, Al Qaeda remains present in Afghanistan, said Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby during a briefing, and yes, he was aware of reports of Americans being beaten by the Taliban as they tried to reach safety.

The contradiction will raise further doubt about whether Biden is in control of the White House messaging operation, let alone the chaotic effort to bring Americans home.  

He also flubbed while describing key communications with the Taliban, mangling the name of Doha, Qatar – a key focal point of negotiations as well as evacuations.

Asked about assurances of security for people making it to the airport, Biden responded: 'We've been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership in Daho' – confusing the letters in the capital of Qatar.

'And we've been coordinating what we're doing,' he added.

He did not immediately correct himself, but he later referred to the location correctly when defending the way the evacuation was handled. 'The point was that although we were in contact with the Taliban and Doha for this whole period of time,' there wasn't expected to be a 'total demise' of the Afghan military, Biden said.

Doha is where the Trump administration held negotiations with members of the Taliban for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.  

Biden is facing continuing criticism as videos and news reports depict pandemonium and occasional violence outside the airport.

'I made the decision' on the timing of the U.S. withdrawal, he said, his tone firm as he declared that it was going to lead to difficult scenes, no matter when. Former President Donald Trump had set the departure for May in negotiations with the Taliban, but Biden extended it.

Thousands of people remain to be evacuated ahead of Biden's Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw most remaining U.S. troops. Flights were stopped for several hours Friday because of a backup at a transit point for the refugees, a U.S. airbase in Qatar, but they resumed in the afternoon, including to Bahrain.

Still, potential evacuees faced continuing problems getting into the airport. The Belgian foreign ministry confirmed that one of its planes took off empty because the people who were supposed to be aboard couldn't get in.

Evacuees are seen arriving in an undisclosed Middle Eastern air base on Friday, having been flown on U.S. Air Force planes out of Kabul

Evacuees are seen arriving in an undisclosed Middle Eastern air base on Friday, having been flown on U.S. Air Force planes out of Kabul

A U.S. soldier looks on as a smiling Afghan man, carrying a child, leaves Kabul on Wednesday

A U.S. soldier looks on as a smiling Afghan man, carrying a child, leaves Kabul on Wednesday

The White House announced that Biden would leave for Wilmington around midday on Saturday, following a meeting with his national security team to get updated on the situation. Harris will join remotely. 

But the president's departure from DC for the weekend will be seized on by his critics, who have hammered Biden for the debacle in the war-torn country.


On Friday, evacuation flights were temporarily suspended when the Qatar air base which has, until now, been receiving the evacuees reached capacity. 

One man at Al Udeid air base in Doha told CBS News that about 2,000 Afghans and U.S citizens were crowded into the building on Friday.

He said it was hot, and many people were waiting hours for food, but that he and the others who had made it that far were grateful to the U.S., and relieved to be out of Kabul.   

Biden to leave White House for Delaware tomorrow as Afghan mess rages and thousands of US citizens and Afghan allies remain stranded in Kabul: Has only spent four of 15 days of crisis in DC Biden to leave White House for Delaware tomorrow as Afghan mess rages and thousands of US citizens and Afghan allies remain stranded in Kabul: Has only spent four of 15 days of crisis in DC Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:56 Rating: 5

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