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Psaki caught flat-footed by query about California college students stranded in Afghanistan

White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki was caught flat-footed in the course of the every day press briefing when she was requested a few group of California college students who’re trapped in Afghanistan. 

Psaki was requested Wednesday if she knew about an LA Occasions report {that a} group of scholars and their mother and father from California’s El Cajon Valley Faculty District are presently stranded in Afghanistan. 


The reporter requested, “The LA Occasions has a narrative saying {that a} group of scholars and their mother and father are in Afghanistan. Do you have got any extra info on that or is that?–“

“I don’t. Who’ve just lately traveled into Afghanistan?” Psaki said in response, showing confused in regards to the report.

The reporter famous that the scholars and their households are “apparently stranded in Afghanistan, having traveled there? I do not I do not know for sure.” 

Psaki then replied, “I actually haven’t got further info on that. I do know, as our secretary of state simply famous, when he went by means of a an intensive abstract of Americans and our contacts and our focus during the last a number of days, he gave an replace. I’m joyful to take their info if there’s something extra detailed to have.”

Psaki’s response in the course of the briefing got here as a shock to congressional advocates for the Americans trapped in Kabul.


Fox Information has discovered that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who represents the 50th district of California the place the El Cajon Valley Faculty District is situated, notified the White Home, Pentagon and the State Division in regards to the plight of trapped American kids, college students and fogeys, in latest days.

“Jen Psaki mentioned in a earlier briefing to contact the White Home with names of stranded Americans…so we did,” mentioned Jonathan Wilcox, communications director for Issa.

Issa’s workplace has been involved with the residents who’re having unimaginable problem getting previous Taliban checkpoints and passing by means of the gates of Kabul Airport to security. They’ve additionally obtained reviews on the bottom in Kabul that People solely have a 24-hour window to evacuate the nation. 

Issa employees additionally say that the State Division has been gradual to reply to emergency requests and should date did not handle this disaster. As well as, dependable info has been very tough to get or obtain.

Wilcox instructed Fox Information in a press release that Psaki is “lifeless fallacious” for claiming Americans usually are not stranded in Afghanistan, as evidenced by the Americans inside Issa’s district who’re nonetheless trapped. 

“Congressman Issa and employees are conscious of the placement of a number of Americans in Afghanistan, and we’ve been in direct and constant contact with them. They’re scared, stranded and trapped within the Kabul space. Up to now, they’ve been unable to achieve the airport. I do know Jen Psaki has beforehand mentioned this isn’t taking place, however she’s lifeless fallacious,” mentioned Wilcox.

Wilcox continued, “[Issa] additionally continues to steer our work to substantiate visas, passports and different documentation for the folks we all know are trapped, and we’re in constant contact with official channels together with the State Division and the Pentagon, in addition to these on the bottom in Afghanistan. He’s doing all the pieces he can to push these in cost to take emergency motion and they need to by now be very conscious that he’s on this case. We imagine that we’ve made a big distinction, however there may be nonetheless work to be achieved to ensure everybody will get house safely.”


Psaki mentioned it was “irresponsible” to say that People are stranded in Afghanistan in an change with Fox Information’ Peter Doocy throughout Monday’s press briefing. “I feel it is irresponsible to say People are stranded. They aren’t. We’re dedicated to bringing People who need to come house, house.” 

Doocy adopted up and requested whether or not “there aren’t any People stranded” is the official White Home place.

“I am simply calling you out for saying we’re stranding People in Afghanistan when we’ve been very clear that we’re not leaving People who need to return house,” Psaki mentioned. “We’re going to deliver them house and I feel that is vital for the American public to listen to and perceive.”

Psaki then instructed reporters to contact the White Home with the names, contact info and every other new details about Americans or Afghan companions who need to depart Afghanistan and the federal government would assist them evacuate.

Fox Information’ Cam Cawthorne contributed to this report. 


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