Joe Biden’s administration rejected any suggestion that U.S. citizens are stuck in Afghanistan on Aug. 23.
The White House slammed mounting reports that Americans are stranded in Afghanistan as reckless.
“First of all, I think it is irresponsible to say Americans are stranded,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “They are not.”
The press secretary also refused to comment on whether any U.S. citizen was stranded in the Middle Eastern country since the Taliban seized control of Kabul’s presidential palace.
“I am just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan,” she said. “We are going to bring them home, and I think that is important for the American public to hear and understand.”
The heated remarks came after Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy questioned President Biden’s evacuation of U.S. forces, allies, and Afghan supporters from Kabul Airport.
“Does the president have the sense that most of the criticism is not of leaving Afghanistan?” Doocy said in the statement. “It is the way that he has ordered it to happen by pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded.”
The reporter also questioned the Biden administration’s failure to acknowledge countless people who Taliban fighters prevent from entering Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“There are no Americans stranded, is [this] the White House’s official position on what is happening in Afghanistan right now?”
Psaki claims the president is “committed” to repatriating Americans who are in Afghanistan. She also suggested any American who does not return simply did not want to do so.
“We are in touch with them via phone, text [message,] email, [and] via any way we can possibly reach Americans to get them home–if they want to return home,” she said.
The remarks came despite the Department of State recently warning the “U.S. government cannot ensure safe passage to the Hamid Karzai International Airport.”
Biden himself admitted to ABC News between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans still need to be evacuated. A further 50,000 to 65,000 Afghan civilians and their families are also waiting to leave.
The president is open to the possibility of extending the withdrawal deadline beyond Aug. 31. However, he concedes his administration still has a “long way to go, and a lot could still go wrong.”