White House chief of staff Ron Klain appeared with MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan on his Peacock program Tuesday night to defend the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Hasan said that while he and most other American citizens did support withdrawal from Afghanistan, “I also think the withdrawal could have been done better. It wasn’t quite the extraordinary success that the president claimed today.”
In particular he questioned Klain about President Joe Biden’s July comments saying there would be no scenes of “people being lifted of the roof of an embassy.”
“That was a mistake, was it not?” Hasan asked. “Or did you really have no clue at the time, no intel then, about how quickly the Taliban would take back power?”
Klain responded that at the time the Taliban “had not yet conquered a single provincial capital in the country” and that no one thought this would happen. He went on to argue that the Trump administration left them with the Taliban in a very strong position.
At one point Hasan brought up criticisms from Democrats and the suggestion that either Secretary of State Antony Blinken or White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan should be fired.
Klain defended both of them and said of the withdrawal the administration “managed that as well as it can be managed.”
Hasan ended the interview by questioning Klain about the civilians (including children) who were killed in the U.S. airstrike targeting suicide bombers on Sunday, and about the plea from the Afghan interpreter who helped rescue the president in 2008.
You can watch above, via Peacock.
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