Biden Says The U.S. Is On Pace To Leave Afghanistan By Aug. 31 Deadline

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President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room on the continuing situation in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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National Security
The CIA Chief And Taliban Leader Meet As Taliban Hold Firm Against Extending Deadline

Despite the Taliban’s quick takeover of Afghanistan, the president has defended his decision to withdraw, telling White House reporters on Sunday that he believes in the long-term ramifications of his choice.

«I think that history is going to record this was the logical, rational and right decision to make,» Biden said.

Biden has maintained that his goal is to get all Americans who want to leave out of Afghanistan. He has also vowed to try to evacuate as many Afghan allies who aided the U.S throughout the 20-year war as possible.

On Capitol Hill, concern remains over whether the exit date will be met

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., expressed doubts Monday night.

At-Risk Afghans Who Fear The Taliban Hunker Down And Wait To Leave

«I think it’s possible, but I think it’s very unlikely,» Schiff, who also serves as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said.

«Given the number of Americans who still need to be evacuated, the number of SIV’s [special immigrant visas,] the number of others who are members of the Afghan press, civil-society leaders, women leaders, it’s hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month,» he added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a more direct call Tuesday morning, urging Biden to «forget about the Aug. 31 deadline,» and instead focus on getting more Americans and Afghan allies out of the country.

«The Taliban should not be allowed to tell us how long we are there to get our personnel out. That’s our decision, not theirs,» he said.

People evacuated from Kabul are being held in third-party countries, including an air base in Qatar where there are «very challenging conditions,» a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call. Officials are working to try to make sure people have enough food, water and medical services. «This is a challenge. We are adjusting and improving as we do,» the official said.

The Washington Post and others have reported on the crowded and unsanitary conditions at the base.

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