President Joe Biden spoke to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, with fragments of the interview released 18 August and what appeared to be a full version on Thursday.
Tucker Carlson has accused ABC News of heavily editing its Wednesday night exclusive interview with Joe Biden to omit the more embarrassing moments, where the “fumbling” president seemed to display “lapses of memory.”
Biden’s sit-down with anchor George Stephanopoulos was his first media grilling over the situation in Afghanistan, and the POTUS doubled down on his decision to withdraw troops from the South Asian nation. Biden also acknowledged that, if needed, US forces would remain past the 31 August deadline to evacuate all Americans.
© AP Photo / Rahmat Gul
In this Aug. 19, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. President Joe Biden took office early this year, Western allies were falling over themselves to welcome and praise him and hail a new era in trans-Atlantic cooperation.
He indicated that in his opinion there was no way to avoid the mayhem that unfolded in Afghanistan over the weekend, after the Taliban seized the capital Kabul.
While these remarks were made public on Wednesday when snippets of the interview emerged, Thursday saw a full transcript published by ABC. It was then that questions were raised as it emerged that fragments of it had been edited out.
“Toward the end of his interview with ABC there was a telling exchange… That exchange was never broadcast on camera,” said Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Thursday evening.
“Now television networks edit interviews very often for time. But ABC News appears to have edited out portions that made Joe Biden look – how to put it – not presidential. Incoherent. Confused,” said Carlson.
He then read from the transcript to point out the blunders, such as Biden erroneously claiming that his son Beau, who died of a brain tumour in May 2015 at the age of 46, had served in Afghanistan – the president soon corrected himself, saying he meant Iraq, but he careened on, claiming Beau was in the Navy, when he in fact served in the Army.
As the ABC host pressed Biden further on the tragic and chaotic consequences of the US withdrawal, the president seemed to offer up a jumbled response.
“Look, that’s like askin’ my deceased son Beau, who spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major – I mean, as an Army major… And, you know, I’m sure h– he had regrets comin’ out of Afganista – I mean, out of Iraq… He had regrets to what’s – how – how it’s going. But the idea – what’s the alternative? The alternative is why are we staying in Afghanistan? Why are we there?” said Biden according to the ABC transcript of the interview.
© AP Photo / Lt. Mark Andries
Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) await a flight to Kabul Afghanistan, at Al Udeied Air Base, Qatar Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021
“We are not attacking him, we are not telling you this with glee – we are telling you this because it’s true. The scary thing about Afghanistan is that it reveals American weakness. And weakness begets aggression,” said Carlson said. He added that Biden’s remarks revealed “weakness at the heart of government.”
On Twitter, many agreed that it was “suspicious” that small fragments of the video had been released from the “garbled transcript.”
So either someone at ABC wants to make Biden look bad for some reason, or someone at ABC doesn’t want Biden to look any worse than he already does in small doses.
— ABSOLUTELY SMASHING (@PRiMEALiAS) August 20, 2021
I bet the unaired bits are horrifying
— Supergoodpixel (@Supergoodpixel) August 20, 2021
I feel sorry for the transcriber. So few coherent sentences
— Emm Gifts (@EmmGifts) August 20, 2021
It’s garbled because Biden is talking.
— Sentinel (@3Sentinel4) August 20, 2021
I support Pres. Biden’s decision to depart Afghanistan despite the apparent incompetence in its execution. But reading this word salad interview transcript fits right along with the latter observation…. https://t.co/LVp3dukmjD
— Andrew R. Schaefer 🍊 🇺🇸 (@aschaefer) August 20, 2021
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.