An administration official told Politico that they were stunned by the president’s decision to leave Americans behind as the Taliban solidifies their power in the country and reportedly engages in door-to-door executions.
“I am absolutely appalled and literally horrified we left Americans there,” the official said. “It was a hostage rescue of thousands of Americans in the guise of a NEO [noncombatant evacuation operations], and we have failed that no-fail mission.”
Another administration official told Politico that they didn’t consider the mission to be accomplished if Americans were abandoned in Afghanistan.
The officials’ concerns came the same day that Biden vigorously defended his handling of the withdrawal.
Biden on Tuesday touted one of the “biggest airlifts in history,” noting more than 120,000 individuals were airlifted to safety from Kabul, saying that “no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history,” calling the mission an “extraordinary success.”
“Only the U.S. had the capacity, the will, and the ability to do it, and we did it today,” Biden later added, applauding the “bravery and selfless courage” of U.S. military, diplomats and intelligence professionals.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed reporting.