The Taliban overtook Afghanistan with relative ease and lightning quickness. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan, and American personnel was forced to evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on helicopters. The presidential palace in Kabul was "handed over" to the Taliban on Sunday. Republican lawmakers are hammering President Joe Biden and his administration on the U.S. withdrawal, which has been labeled as "an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions" and compared to the capture of Saigon.
Biden, who is at Camp David on a scheduled vacation, issued a statement on the dire situation in Afghanistan on Saturday, where he placed blame on his predecessor for the much-maligned withdrawal. Former President Donald Trump responded to Biden's accusations by saying the current president "gets it wrong every time on foreign policy."
It wasn't only Trump who slammed Biden and his administration for the disheveled withdrawal from Afghanistan; several Republican lawmakers also torched the president.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): "Joe Biden has been commander-in-chief for seven months – the current failure in Afghanistan falls squarely on his shoulders. His lack of leadership during this pivotal moment has been shameful – it has only served to embolden our adversaries and let down our allies."
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.): "Ashraf Ghani has fled and Joe Biden is hiding. Pathetic. Why is Joe Biden in hiding? He should immediately address the nation and answer for the catastrophic situation in Afghanistan. Conference calls between cabinet secretaries and senators don't cut it in a crisis."
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio): "America's in crisis. Afghanistan's in chaos. Why's Joe Biden on vacation?"
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas): "This is an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. This will be a stain on Biden's presidency and he will have blood on his hands."
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.): "This is Joe Biden's Saigon. A disastrous failure on the international stage that will never be forgotten - meanwhile Joe is on vacation."
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.): "No person who calls themselves the President of the United States should be on vacation while the world crumbles down around them. The dereliction of duty continues."
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: "No wonder he is hiding at Camp David. No teleprompter can give him the answers to the questions he would be asked today. What a disaster."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "When the Biden Administration announced their Afghanistan pullout plan, several of us on the Intel Committee told them their predictions of what would happen next were complete fantasy. We are now witnessing how true our warnings to them were."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): "It is only a matter of time until al-Qaeda reemerges in Afghanistan and presents a threat to the American homeland and western world. President Biden seems oblivious to the terrorist threats that will come from a Taliban-run Afghanistan."
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "The Biden Administration's botched exit from Afghanistan including the frantic evacuation of Americans and vulnerable Afghans from Kabul is a shameful failure of American leadership. The United States had the capacity to avoid this disaster."
Two House Democrats even torpedoed Biden's handling of the withdrawal, as reported by Fox News.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas): "There's no way to hide it. The situation in Afghanistan is another shame on this admin. Withdrawal was never going to be easy but it didn't need to come to this. The US must do everything in its power to help our partners & allies to safety & protect our national security."
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.): "As a Gold Star son of the Vietnam War listening to the White House briefing on the Afghanistan War withdrawal, my heart particularly aches for the thousands of Gold Star families of an eerily similar and painful episode forty-six years later."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to spin the U.S. withdrawal out of Afghanistan by saying, "The President is to be commended for the clarity of purpose of his statement on Afghanistan and his action. The Taliban must know the world is watching its actions. We are concerned about reports regarding the Taliban's brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls."
The official Twitter account for the White House tweeted on Sunday, "This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul."