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Biden's Afghanistan remarks suggest possible extension of US mission past Aug. 31
President Biden’s remarks following deadly terror attacks at Kabul’s airport suggested that U.S. activities in Afghanistan could continue beyond next Tuesday's deadline for a permanent withdrawal of U.S. troops, raising further questions about the current parameters of the mission.
Biden vowed to retaliate against ISIS-K militants responsible for the suicide bombings that killed at least 13 U.S. military service members on Thursday, though he did not provide a timeline for when those strikes could occur. He also noted there would be "numerous opportunities" to evacuate at-risk individuals after Aug. 31, even as he pledged to maintain his current timeline for the withdrawal.
"These ISIS terrorists will not win. We will rescue the Americans there. We will get our Afghan allies out and our mission will go on," Biden said. "America will not be intimidated. And I have the utmost confidence in our brave service members who continue to execute this mission with courage and honor to save lives and get Americans, our partners, our Afghan allies out of Afghanistan."
Biden has faced immense pressure from lawmakers to complete evacuation operations regardless of his deadline. The president pledged to move forward with evacuation flights despite the bombing, asserting that U.S. officials have sufficient time and resources to evacuate all Americans who wish to leave Afghanistan by Aug. 31. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.
In other developments:
- Pentagon revises Kabul death-toll data, includes fallen Army soldiers
- Deadliest day for US troops in decade compared to another American tragedy
- More security threats put innocent lives in Kabul on notice after deadly attacks leave world numb
- Grenell: Disaster in Afghanistan a DC politician failure, not an intelligence failure
Biden doesn't deny report of US handing over names of Americans to Taliban: 'There may have been'
President Biden did not deny a report circulating Thursday that officials in his administration had provided names of Americans in Afghanistan to the Taliban in order to help usher them safely to the airport.
"There have been occasions where our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said this bus is coming through ... made up of the following group ... let it through," the president said. "Yes, there have been occasions like that."
Biden added that to his knowledge, the "bulk of that group" has been let through but can't say with "certitude" that there was a list of names passed to the Taliban.
Biden was responding to a Politico report, confirmed by Fox News, that U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies in an effort to grant them entry to the airport which resulted in outrage from military officials behind the scenes.
A source confirmed to Fox News that the topic did come up in a classified briefing on Capitol Hill this week and that U.S. officials did not hand over a list of "every single person in country" but has shared names piecemeal with the Taliban "whenever they wanted a specific group to come through." CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
In other developments:
- Afghanistan explosions: 13 US service members killed in Kabul airport blast, more wounded, officials say
- Biden, Trump camps play blame game as situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate
- Foreign policy expert reveals how Biden could've prevented today's catastrophe
- Sean Parnell: Witnessing Biden ‘bend the knee’ to Taliban is 'soul-crushing’
Cawthorn calls on Harris to invoke 25th Amendment, remove Biden over Afghanistan crisis
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a freshman Republican from North Carolina, is calling on Vice President Kamala Harris to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Biden from office following the deadly, botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
"Our nation is at a crisis point," he wrote in a letter to Harris and the rest of the cabinet Thursday.
He warned of China’s ambitions on the world stage, the resurgent Russia, rising inflation, chaos at the southern border and other global predicaments threatening the U.S. – and argued that confronting them will take strong, decisive leadership.
"Joe Biden’s physical inability to lead is not a political talking point – it’s a demonstrable fact," Cawthorn told Fox News on Thursday evening. "He is not mentally fit to serve as president of the United States." CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
In other developments:
- Kamala Harris stops at Pearl Harbor on way back from Asia -- but avoids press questions
- Haley, Blackburn, other Republicans call for Biden's resignation or impeachment after attack at Kabul airport
- Kamala Harris says evacuating Americans, Afghan allies is Biden admin's 'highest priority'
- Lara Trump blasts Kamala Harris on Afghanistan: She thinks we'll all forget about this
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- Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt gives first public interview to NBC News
- Supreme Court strikes down Biden administration's eviction moratorium
- L.A. County's liberal DA won't block RFK assassin's parole if granted, he says
- Abbott's order allowing Texas troopers to stop migrant transports faces judge's injunction
- Cuomo's ex Sandra Lee and fiancé Ben Youcef return to US after politician ousted from office
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SOME PARTING WORDS
Jesse Kelly, a Marine Corps veteran and syndicated radio host, sounded off on Thursday’s "Tucker Carlson Tonight," about President Biden's intensifying crisis in Afghanistan after at least 13 U.S. service members died in a terror attack in Kabul.
"Politics. No patriotism at all, no love of country at all," Kelly said. "This is all politics, Tucker. That's why I'm is full of hate and rage right now as I have been probably since 9/11.
"I know for a fact either mothers or wives or somebody like that, they are getting a phone call tonight or will be getting a phone call shortly, they're going to find out husband is never coming home again -- Daddy is never coming home again. My son is never coming home again."
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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News' Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning, have a great weekend, stay safe and we’ll see you in your inbox first thing Monday.