President Joe Biden abruptly cut off reporters asking about last night’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Force Base, telling a press conference that he would answer only “legitimate questions” and that he preferred “happy” subjects, like the Fourth of July.
“I want to talk about happy things, man!” Biden snapped at a reporter asking a question about last night’s troop withdrawal.
Quickly regrouping, Biden finished, “We’re on track exactly as to where we expected to be. There will be some forces left. But it’s a rational drawdown with our allies.”
He then demanded to answer questions on “happy” subjects.
“I’m not going to answer anymore on Afghanistan. It’s Fourth of July,” Biden said. “I’m concerned that you guys are asking me questions that I’ll answer next week. It’s the holiday weekend. I’m going to celebrate it.”
American troops made a swift exit from Bagram AFB overnight Thursday, leaving the central hub of Afghan operations after a nearly 20-year presence in the country. The exit is part of a Biden administration-backed troop drawdown that will end on September 11, 2021, exactly 20 years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.
The government did not officially announce the pullout from Bagram, but last week, foreign troops stationed at Bagram began leaving the airbase. As of Wednesday, officials said, American troops were around “50% packed” and ready to leave. The remaining U.S. troops will leave the country later in July, leaving around 650 troops to provide protection to diplomats and American officials. After September 11, 2021, just 300 troops will remain in Afghanistan, charged with protecting the American embassy in Kabul.
As the Daily Wire reported earlier on Friday, residents of Afghanistan remain concerned about American troop withdrawal, particularly given that the Taliban has been on a military offensive.
After saying he would “celebrate” the holiday weekend, Biden talked up the American economy and urged reporters to ask “legitimate” questions.
“There are great things happening. The economy is growing faster than any time in 40 years. We got a record number of new jobs, COVID deaths are down 90%, wages are up faster than any time in 15 years. We’re bringing our troops home. All across America, people are going to ball games. This is good,” he said, following up on a White House tweet from Thursday night claiming this year’s July 4th feast would be cheaper than last year’s by around $.16.
“I’ll answer all your negative questions – not negative questions,” he added. “Legitimate questions.”
Biden closed the conference by suggesting that he will have a dedicated press conference on the Afghan drawdown next week.
Trying to find a “legitimate question,” a reporter asked Biden about progress in passing a massive infrastructure package.”
“Come on guys,” Biden replied. “I love you guys but it’s a process.”
The infrastructure plan is currently mired in the House, where Democrats remain adamant that even the Senate’s compromise infrastructure bill cannot pass if it is not paired with an expansive “human infrastructure bill.”
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Author: Emily Zanotti