Prime Biden aide Jake Sullivan says they nonetheless do not know what number of Individuals are in Afghanistan
President Biden’s Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday admitted that the administration nonetheless doesn’t know what number of Individuals are in Afghanistan.
CNN “State of the Union” host Brianna Keilar requested Sullivan if he may inform her what number of Individuals and authorized everlasting residents are nonetheless ready to be evacuated in Afghanistan.
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“We can’t provide you with a exact quantity,” Sullivan mentioned. “We imagine it’s a number of thousand Individuals who we’re working with now to attempt to get safely overseas.”
He then blamed Individuals not registering or deregistering correctly on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for why they have no idea the precise quantity.
“The rationale we won’t provide you with a exact quantity is that we ask Individuals, once they come to Afghanistan, to register with the embassy. Many come and do this, however then they go away and by no means deregister,” Sullivan mentioned. “Many others come and do not register in any respect. That’s their proper. It was their proper, after all, to stay in Afghanistan so long as they needed and it is our accountability to get them out.”
Sullivan is not the one Biden administration official who hasn’t been capable of reply questions concerning the variety of Individuals in Afghanistan. Final week, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned, “I do not know” in response to the identical query after which was pressed once more in a follow-up query asking how the Biden administration does not know these numbers.
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“I believe as you most likely know, to begin with, the State Division can be a greater place to go for an estimate of what number of Individuals are in Afghanistan or in and round Kabul. That’s not a determine that the USA army would know, and I believe you additionally know not each American citizen abroad that there’s no obligation that they register their presence. And that you could have an ideal correct rely,” Kirby mentioned.
Nonetheless, when State Division Spokesman Ned Worth was requested later that day concerning the variety of Individuals nonetheless ready to be rescued in Afghanistan, he replied, “We’re simply not ready to offer a quantity proper now.”
“We’re extra broadly, not in place to supply an combination determine, as a result of we’re placing ahead affords to people who could also be enthusiastic about relocating,” Worth added.
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Regardless of not realizing what number of Individuals are nonetheless in Afghanistan, Biden on Friday mentioned, “Let me be clear, any American who desires to come back house, we are going to get you house.”
“Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is harmful and includes dangers to our armed forces. And it is being carried out underneath troublesome circumstances. I can’t promise what the ultimate consequence will probably be, or what will probably be that will probably be with out danger of loss.,” Biden continued. “However as commander in chief, I can guarantee you that I’ll mobilize each useful resource mandatory.”
Fox Information’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.