White House press secretary Jen Psaki's claim that Americans are not stranded in Afghanistan was even too much for CNN, which quickly fact checked and refuted the claim.
What did Psaki claim?
During the White House press conference Monday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked whether President Joe Biden has "a sense" that criticism over the Afghanistan withdrawal is not related to leaving Afghanistan, but the manner in which Biden facilitated the withdrawal "by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded."
"Does he have a sense of that?" Doocy pressed.
Psaki responded by rebuking Doocy.
"I think it's irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not," she said.
Doocy followed up by questioning whether Psaki's claim that "there are no Americans stranded" is the "White House's official position on what's happening in Afghanistan right now."
"I'm just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan," Psaki responded, "when we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home. We are going to bring them home. And I think that's important for the American public to hear and understand."
What happened on CNN?
CNN anchor Jake Tapper fact checked Psaki and refuted her claim that saying Americans are stranded in Afghanistan is "irresponsible."
"Look, I understand that people are working long hours in the White House, the National Security Council, State Department, Pentagon and over in Kabul to get Americans out of that country. And I understand the White House wanting to reassure the nation that all Americans will ultimately be evacuated," Tapper began.
"But there are no doubt Americans who feel stranded in Afghanistan right now," he added.
Oren Liebermann, a CNN Pentagon correspondent, agreed, explaining other departments in the Biden administration are admitting as much.
Jen Psaki appearing to say that if you want to get out, the U.S. will go to great lengths to get you out. But the Pentagon has acknowledged in a limited number of cases, according to what we've heard, that there have been Americans who are having trouble getting through Taliban checkpoints, who are having difficulties and problems getting to Kabul international airport.
And that appears to be what she's not acknowledging here, that there are Americans having issues, limited numbers, the Pentagon says. But it is certainly happening from what we've heard here, from what we heard from the defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs briefing members of Congress. Maybe it's not in great number, but there are problems here even for Americans.
CNN Fact Checks Jen Psaki On False Claim That Americans Are “Not" Stranded In Afghanistan www.youtube.com
Psaki's claim is even more perplexing considering the fact that, as Reuters reported, the U.S. government does not even know the exact number of Americans who remain in Afghanistan.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed Monday the Biden administration is unlikely to evacuate all Americans and Afghan allies before Biden's deadline of Aug. 31.
"Given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of [Special Immigrant Visas], the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil society leaders, women leaders. It's hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month," Schiff explained.
"It's hard for me to see that being complete by the end of the month," he later added.