September 27, 2021

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VP Kamala Harris laughs when asked about tragedy in Afghanistan – New York Post

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Vice President Kamala Harris is under fire for laughing when asked about the deadly chaos in Afghanistan — before Singapore’s prime minister pointed out during a press conference with Harris that the Biden administration’s exit plan went “awry.”

The VP — heavily criticized for her delay in addressing the disaster that started after the US pulled out despite the Taliban’s resurgence — was already grinning widely when she approached reporters Friday.

A reporter attempted to ask about her “response on Americans” — but the VP cut her off before she could finish.

“Hold on, hold on — slow down, everybody!” Harris said, before letting out her now-notorious laugh, shaking her shoulders as she chuckled.

The VP finally controlled herself to insist that the Biden administration “couldn’t have a higher priority right now” than Afghanistan.

Vice President Kamala Harris nervously laughed after being asked about the crisis in Afghanistan.
Vice President Kamala Harris nervously laughed after being asked about the crisis in Afghanistan.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Harris, who has previously been criticized for similar reactions at seemingly inappropriate moments, spoke as she was heading overseas — but not to Afghanistan.

Instead, she traveled to Asia for stops in Singapore and Vietnam — ironically, the sites of previous US-UK military humiliations.

People line up to board a bus after disembarking an Air Belgium evacuation flight arriving from Afghanistan at Melsbroek Military Airport, on August 23, 2021
People line up to board a bus after disembarking an Air Belgium evacuation flight arriving from Afghanistan at Melsbroek Military Airport, on August 23, 2021.
EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

“Apparently she thinks it’s a laughing matter,” one person tweeted as the footage of her cackle was spread on social media.

“This is like a Saturday Night Live skit — except it’s real and she’s not acting. Nothing to laugh at,” another person wrote, while others showed a meme where laughter was her response to every emotion.

“How has she not trained that laugh away yet?” another asked.

Other observers were outraged that she was heading to Asia while insisting that Afghanistan was the key concern.

Vice President Kamala Harris insisted that the Biden administration "couldn't have a higher priority right now" than Afghanistan.
Vice President Kamala Harris insisted that the Biden administration “couldn’t have a higher priority right now” than Afghanistan.
EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“A higher priority right while she jets off to anywhere but where she needs to be,” one person tweeted, while another person said it was “why I’m going to board this plane and depart this self-inflicted catastrophe.”

“Kamala Harris says that the administration couldn’t have a higher priority than Afghanistan… Is that why she’s in Vietnam on a foreign trip and Joe Biden has been on vacation half the time?” another person tweeted.

At a joint press conference with Harris in Singapore, the island country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday noted the US’ botched departure from Afghanistan, as thousands of people remain at Kabul airport seeking evacuation and more thousands of Americans are stranded across the Taliban controlled country. 

“Countries make calculations and take positions, and they have to make calc- — recalculations and adjust their positions from time to time,” Lee said.

A US Marine comforts an infant while they wait for the mother during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A US Marine comforts an infant while they wait for the mother during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
EPA/U.S. Marine Corps

“Sometimes it can be done smoothly; sometimes there are hiccups.  Sometimes there’s — things go awry and take time to put right.”

But Harris repeatedly declined to say what she felt should have been done differently in the withdrawal.

“There’s no question there will be and should be a robust analysis of what has happened,” she said at a press conference in Singapore.

“But right now there’s no question that our focus has to be on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us and vulnerable Afghans, including women and children.”

The vice president’s stumbles come as she continues to tank in polls. According to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Thursday, 55 percent of likely voters say the former senator from California is either “not qualified” or “not at all qualified” to assume the duties of the presidency.

The trip is Harris’ second foreign mission this year. She visited Guatemala and Mexico in June to enlist help in stemming a surge in illegal immigration, but the trip  was overshadowed by her struggle to answer questions about her refusal to visit the US-Mexico border, which she ultimately did after returning to the US. 

With Post wires

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