Fact-Checking Biden’s Claim That ‘Some of the Afghans Did Not Want to Leave Earlier’

On August 16, the day after the Afghan President Ashrag Ghani fled the country and the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden addressed the nation, emphasizing that he “stood squarely” behind his decision to withdraw troops from the country. 

In response to criticism that he should have evacuated Afghans sooner, Biden responded, by saying that: “some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier — still hopeful for their country.”

While Biden’s statement may be true, it’s misleading given the many thousands of Afghans who’d already registered their desire to go.

On June 4, more 20 lawmakers wrote to Biden expressing the need to evacuate Afghan allies and explaining the formation of the bipartisan group, “Honoring Our Promises Working Group,” which called on Biden to “prevent the Afghans who served by our side from being killed in the wake of our withdrawal by groups like the Taliban, ISIS, and Al Qaeda.”

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