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When Jen Psaki is Confronted with Deaths of 13 U.S. Service Members, She Cautions Americans Not to Overlook ‘Progress’

White House Press Secretary was confronted Monday on the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan after President Joe Biden’s hasty and reckless military withdrawal from the country after two decades of war.

Psaki attempted to pivot away from the horrific blow to U.S. military morale and to the confidence of the American people by cautioning them not to overlook the Biden administration’s “progress.” Watch:

“Well, first I would say that the men and women who gave their lives, and the President attended, as you noted yesterday, to honor their service, honor their sacrifice, and had the opportunity to meet a number of the family members yesterday,” she said.

“That doesn’t take the place of all of the progress, all of the work that has been done to evacuate people,’ Psaki continued. “But I will tell you something that has been said time and time again by the brave men and women of the military who are leading this effort. These 13 individuals sacrificed their lives to save tens of thousands of people. That is something that should be honored, should be valued, and we will continue to look for ways to do that.”

When asked at another point in the press conference about the number of Americans still in Afghanistan, she did not exactly give a reassuring response.

“So as we conveyed at the time, we knew that there could be an option, one, that people who had registered had already departed, or that people had registered, had not de-registered, or that there would be additional people who came forward,” Psaki said. “And we believe there are still a small number — I understand you are asking for the exact number who remain, we are trying to determine exactly how many and we’re going through manifests and calling and texting through our lists and will have more of a concrete number for you as soon as possible.”

“Part of the challenge with fixing precise numbers is there are long-term residents of Afghanistan, as we talked about in here, with American passports, dual citizens, the vast majority, who are still trying to determine if they want to leave or not, or have been over the last couple of days,” she continued. “In some instances, in many instances that is because they have many family members there, but they have a range of reasons and we have been working with them to assess that.”

On Monday, U.S. General McKenzie said “very few hundreds” of U.S. citizens were left behind and “at least 2,000 hardcore ISIS fighters” are now roaming, as Disclose TV reported.

When asked if the U.S. is “more or less safe today than we were before the Taliban took over,” Psaki dodged giving a direct response.

“Well, again, we are not going to do anything that’s going to allow terrorists to grow or prosper in Afghanistan or any terrorist organization,” Psaki claimed..” That continues to be the President’s commitment. And his order to his U.S. military over the past several days and the actions that CENTCOM have announced show that he is going to deliver on that promise.”

However, in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Joe Biden gave his word that he was committed to getting all Americans ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline that he agreed to with the Taliban,

“If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out,” Biden pledged.

The Aug. 31 deadline is tomorrow.


Watch: Taliban Fighters Celebrate the Final Departure of U.S. Military Troops with Gunfire in Kabul

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