Washington Submit: ‘Sleep-deprived’ Jake Sullivan ‘bungles’ line about visa processing for Afghans
The Washington Submit accused White Home nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan of bungling his strains after claiming not a single particular immigrant visa (SIV) had been processed since March 2020 when the Biden administration took workplace in January.
“Once we took workplace in January, the Trump administration had not processed a single particular immigrant visa since March of 2020, in almost a yr,” Sullivan stated at a Monday press briefing.
The White Home would later replace his assertion, clarifying Sullivan meant to say the Trump administration had not carried out a single SIV interview since March of 2020.
After some digging, Washington Submit truth checker Glenn Kessler discovered neither of these statements to be correct. Knowledge confirmed a slowing of visas within the first few months after March 2020 on the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, however the processing picked up steam by the second half of the yr.
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Within the SIV quarterly studies, the variety of individuals interviewed for the visas in Kabul was zero, Kessler acknowledged. However, he famous, the studies additionally confirmed two Afghans had been scheduled to be interviewed in the course of the July-September interval and 9 had been scheduled to be interviewed in October-December, reportedly outdoors Afghanistan.
“There have been comparatively few interviews this quarter as a result of U.S. Embassy Kabul was closed for in-person visa providers as a result of prevalence of COVID-19 in Afghanistan,” stated the report from December. “In all 9 instances, the candidates requested to have their interview carried out at an alternate put up.”
That knowledge, the actual fact checker argued, calls into query Sullivan’s declare.
Kessler started to present Sullivan the good thing about the doubt, saying he’s “most likely sleep-deprived” contemplating the chaos of the previous week and should due to this fact be allowed a “slip of the tongue.”
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“However, the White Home has but to appropriate the transcript, noting the error,” Kessler wrote. “For the historic report, that is vital. Errors in speeches can stay on ceaselessly, as President Invoice Clinton found with one error that was corrected by the White Home instantly — however not within the transcript. So we’d count on this error to be corrected within the official transcript earlier than it’s repeated.”
Sullivan’s obvious error is the most recent in a string of deceptive statements and non-answers from the Biden White Home within the wake of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Final week, President Joe Biden falsely stated worldwide allies had not forged doubt on America’s management in the course of the disaster, after a number of world leaders brazenly questioned the U.S.’s actions. He additionally claimed his senior advisers had not informed him to delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops, regardless of studies stating the alternative.
Even left-leaning media have hit the White Home for oftentimes “weird” messaging that appeared out of contact with actuality.
“There is a severe disconnect between the messaging from the Biden administration, which is actually, ‘We have this, we’ve a plan, we’re getting this below management. If you wish to get out of Afghanistan, you’ll be able to,'” the Related Press’ Julie Tempo stated on Sunday’s “Inside Politics.” “After which what we’re seeing on the bottom from actually courageous reporters who’re there, from plenty of Afghan civilians who’re sharing photos of photographs of the scene outdoors the airport the place, no, you can not get out if you wish to get out.”
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The Pentagon press briefings of the previous two weeks have additionally appeared to depart People with extra questions than solutions, with press secretary John Kirby repeatedly saying they have no idea what number of People are nonetheless in Afghanistan. White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki raised eyebrows Monday when she stated it was unfair to say these People had been “stranded.”