CBS Skips Own Reporter Getting WH to Be Noncommittal on Saving Americans

If a news outlet got a Republican administration to hint they didn’t plan to ensure every American got out of a collapsed country run by terrorists safely, it would be the headline of the day. But that wasn’t the case for CBS Evening News on Tuesday after White House correspondent Weijia Jiang grilled National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the issue; where they proved to be noncommittal on the idea that the administration would get every American out of Afghanistan safely.

CBS did approach the collapse of Afghanistan with a critical tone as Jiang spoke on how reports from the intelligence community about the situation seemed to be ignored by the White House:

Tonight CBS News has learned that classified intelligence assessments painted an increasingly grim picture of the situation on the ground. And as recently as July, they assessed that the Taliban could capture the capital, Kabul, within weeks. But, of course, that raises the question: why then, around the exact same time was President Biden publicly insisting it was highly unlikely that the Taliban could overrun the country?

But that could be addressed later. The biggest concern in the moment was getting ALL Americans out of Afghanistan as quickly and as safely as possible. And it was Jiang who got the press pool buzzing around the question.

“If the mission is not complete by August 31st and there are Americans and Afghan allies who remained there. Will U.S. troops stay until everyone is out or will they leave,” she pressed Sullivan. To which, he wouldn’t give a straight answer:

SULLIVAN: So I’m not going to comment on hypotheticals. What I’m going to do is stay focused on the task at hand, which is getting as many people out as rapidly as possible. And we will take that day by day.

JIANG: You can’t commit to —

SULLIVAN: Yes.

JIANG: — bringing back every American as well?

SULLIVAN: [Points to a different reporter]

Later on in the briefing, Jiang put the screws to Psaki by asking her why the administration wasn’t using the military to secure Americans and bring them to the airport, instead of making them trek through terrorist-controlled territory.

“And it’s our understanding that Americans have been called to the airport, but it’s up to them to travel there at their own risk,” she said. “Why isn’t the U.S. providing any support, any transportation for them to get to Kabul?” Psaki suggested that it was up to the Taliban to make sure they got there safely.

Jiang tried one more time to get the White House to “offer any guarantee to the Americans and Afghan allies that, if they remain there past the end of the month, U.S. troops will help them evacuate past the end of the month?”

Again, Psaki said they wouldn’t commit to making sure Americans would make it home:

Weijia, our — our focus right now is undoing the work at hand and on the task at hand. And that is day by day, getting as many American citizens, as many SIV applicants, as many members of a vulnerable population who are eligible to be evacuated to the airport and out on planes. And we’re going to do that in an expeditious fashion. That is the focus of the president, of our secretary of defense, of our secretary of state, and everybody on our national security team. So that is where we will keep our efforts.

It’s journalistic malpractice that CBS kept these shocking exchanges from their viewers. It’s also journalistic malpractice none of the other evening newscasts (ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News) covered them neither.

CBS’s censorship of the Biden administration’s refusal to guarantee Americans’ safety in Afghanistan was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Febreze and Neutrogena. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

White House press briefing (via ABC News Live)
08/17/21
1:52:42 p.m. Eastern

(…)

WEIJIA JIANG: If the mission is not complete by August 31st and there are Americans and Afghan allies who remained there. Will U.S. troops stay until everyone is out or will they leave?

JAKE SULLIVAN: So I’m not going to comment on hypotheticals. What I’m going to do is stay focused on the task at hand, which is getting as many people out as rapidly as possible. And we will take that day by day.

JIANG: You can’t commit to —

SULLIVAN: Yes.

JIANG: — bringing back every American as well?

SULLIVAN: [Points to a different reporter]

(…)

2:25:52 p.m. Eastern

WEIJIA JIANG: You mentioned at the top that about 700 people have been evacuated in the past 24 hours. Pentagon officials, including Press Secretary John Kirby expect that number to increase

PSAKI: Yeah.

JIANG: — to 5,000 to 9,000 a day. Can you talk about what needs to happen between now and then to ramp the number up and when you expect to hit it?

JEN PSAKI: Sure, Weijia. It’s a good question. I think what I had been referring to just a few minutes ago was the fact that our focus has been on securing, not just the perimeter of the airport, but also operational capacity at the airport, which of course is a Department of Defense operation they’re overseeing in coordination with the State Department. And so because we’ve had success in that regard, we are hopeful and expect to expedite additional flights out. So that was not the place where we were at this time yesterday. And given we’ve made progress in this regard, we are hopeful to increase the number of people, American citizens, SIV applicants, and others that we can get out of the country.

JIANG: And it’s our understanding that Americans have been called to the airport, but it’s up to them to travel there at their own risk. Why isn’t the U.S. providing any support, any transportation for them to get to Kabul?

PSAKI: Well, I would just go back to what our national security advisor discussed as it relates to the Taliban and discussions with them about safe passage for people who are coming to the airport. We’ve also seen, I don’t have an exact number for you. I’m sure the Department of Defense and State Department can provide that, but a large number of American citizens and others making their way successfully to the airport over the course of the last 24 hours.

JIANG: Just one more. I know we all tried to ask Jake this question, but can you offer any guarantee to the Americans and Afghan allies that if they remain there past the end of the month, U.S. troops will help them evacuate past the end of the month?

PSAKI: Weijia, our — our focus right now is undoing the work at hand and on the task at hand. And that is day by day, getting as many American citizens, as many SIV applicants, as many members of a vulnerable population who are eligible to be evacuated to the airport and out on planes. And we’re going to do that in an expeditious fashion. That is the focus of the president, of our secretary of defense, of our secretary of state, and everybody on our national security team. So that is where we will keep our efforts.

(…)

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