Biden: 'I'm Rejecting' Claims in Army Report We Weren't Prepared for Afghanistan Withdrawal, But I Wasn't Told We Were Prepared

Biden: 'I'm Rejecting' Claims in Army Report We Weren't Prepared for Afghanistan Withdrawal, But I Wasn't Told We Were Prepared

During a portion of an interview with NBC aired on Thursday’s edition of “NBC Nightly News,” President Joe Biden dismissed the accounts in an Army report that the administration wasn’t prepared for the withdrawal from Afghanistan but denied he was told that administration officials were prepared and knew it was time to leave.

Host Lester Holt asked, “I have to draw your attention to that Army report, an investigative report that’s come out about the lead-up to the withdrawal from Afghanistan. It interviewed many military officials and officers who said the administration ignored the handwriting on the wall, another described trying to get folks in the embassy ready to evacuate and encountering people who were in — essentially in denial of the situation. Does any of that ring true to you?”

Biden responded, “No, no. That’s not what I was told.”

Holt then asked, “That you were told that the U.S. administration officials were prepared, they knew it was time to get out?”

Biden answered, “No. What I was told — no one told me that — look, there was no good time to get out.”

He also stated, “But if we had not gotten out, they acknowledged that we would have had to put a hell of a lot more troops back in. It wasn’t just 2,000, 4,000. We would have had to significantly increase the number of troops, and we’re back in this war of attrition. And there was no way we were ever going to unite Ukraine — I mean, excuse me, Iraq — Afghanistan, no way that was going to happen. And so, this was a much wiser thing to do.”

Holt then asked, “I just want to clarify, are you rejecting the conclusions or the accounts that are in this Army report?”

Biden responded, “Yes, I am.” He added, “I’m rejecting them.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

Ian Hanchett