Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor and Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby dodged a reporter’s question about whether the US military is buying aviation fuel from the Taliban as evacuation efforts continue at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul.
During a briefing at the Pentagon Thursday, Kirby also revealed that of the 2,000 people evacuated over the last 24 hours, only 300 of them were Americans.
“How are you fueling your planes… are you now in a position that you have to buy fuel from the Taliban?” asked Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin during a briefing at the Pentagon.
President Joe Biden is facing bipartisan backlash over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as lawmakers from both parties call for an investigation into his administration’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal.
Democrats vowed “tough questions” Tuesday as they used words like “flawed,” “failures” and “horrifying” to describe the administration’s exit strategy and the scenes unfolding in Kabul.
The president, for his part, is not changing course and vows to complete a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. But he now faces the specter of his own party investigating his team’s conduct and competence in the shadows of a 2022 election where control of Congress is up for grabs.