Republicans tear into Biden for bombshell Ghani call

‘Biden’s lies cost 13 American lives’: Republicans tear into Biden for trying to ‘make everyone think the Taliban wasn’t taking over’ with bombshell Ghani call in ‘yet more evidence he is disconnected from the real world’

  • Biden focused much of his last  call with Ghani on his ‘perception problem’ in the fight against the Taliban 
  •  ‘Changing perception’ is political spin, not a national security strategy,’ Rep. Jody Hice said 
  • Biden pressed Ghani to bring together the government’s most prominent figures for a press conference. ‘That will change perception’
  •  Biden said the US would provide aid if Ghani could project to the world that he ‘had a plan’ for fighting the Taliban

Republicans are tearing into President Biden’s July 23 phone call with Ashraf Ghani, where he implored the Afghan leader to ‘change the perception’ to the world on his fight against the Taliban.

‘I’m disgusted that President Biden lied to the world to try to make everyone think the Taliban wasn’t taking over, when he knew they were rapidly gaining power. His lies cost us 13 American lives and Biden abandoned our allies when they needed us most,’ Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., told DailyMail.com. 

In a phone call transcript obtained by Reuters, Biden said the US would provide aid if Ghani could project to the world that he ‘had a plan’ for fighting the Taliban. 

‘We will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is,’ Biden said.

Biden focused much of the call on Ghani’s ‘perception problem.’

‘I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,’ Biden said. ‘And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture. 

‘Yet more evidence that Joe Biden is totally disconnected from the real world. ‘Changing perception’ is political spin, not a national security strategy,’ Rep. Jody Hice, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter.  

Biden pressed Ghani to bring together the government’s most prominent figures for a press conference. ‘That will change perception, and that will change an awful lot I think.’ 

‘That is how Joe Biden treats the American people, too. He thinks he can read a pre-scripted, defensive speech and we will all go along with it. What a joke!’ Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., wrote on Twitter. 


In a phone call transcript obtained by Reuters, Biden said the US would provide aid only if Ghani could project to the world that he ‘had a plan’ for fighting the Taliban.

Taliban forces rally to celebrate the withdrawal of US forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 01 September 2021

‘Sounds like an impeachable phone call to me,’ Monica Crowley, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury wrote on Twitter. 

‘BOMBSHELL CALL!’ former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote on Twitter. ‘In July, Biden pressured the Afghan President (Ghani) to suggest the fight against the Taliban was going well ‘whether it is true or not.” 

Still, Biden in the call expressed confidence that the US-trained Afghan security forces could fend off the Taliban, being much bigger in size and far more well-equipped. 

‘You clearly have the best military,’ he told Ghani. ‘You have 300,000 well-armed forces versus 70-80,000 and they’re clearly capable of fighting well.’

The White House has since laid blame on the Afghan military for ‘collapsing without a fight.’

Ghani, meanwhile, relayed a sense of urgency to the US president. 

‘We are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this,’ Ghani said. 

‘We need to move with speed.’ 

Ghani told Biden he believed there could be peace if he could ‘rebalance the military solution.’ 

The Afghan president fled the country, sending his government into collapse, three weeks later, and the Taliban subsequently took Kabul.  

Biden promised diplomatic and economic support even after the military’s withdrawal concluded. 

‘We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows,’ said Biden.  

Tom Schwartz, a Vanderbilt US foreign relations historian who formerly advised the State Department, told DailyMail.com the call proves Biden was ‘deluded’ and really believed the Afghan government could resist. 

‘I didn’t see in quite the deception way, I saw it as self-deception – more than anything else this belief that somehow it was only the perception that was the problem,’ he said. ‘I mean it’s scary in that sense that they were that out of touch with what was going on.’ 

‘One of the more dangerous things is when people believe their own Kool-Aid,’ he added. ‘It’s kind of sad.’ 

But Fox News host Sean Hannity said that the phone call proved Biden knew things were headed south but did not speed up evacuations.

‘This is a disgrace because what that means is, Joe Biden knew that it wasn’t working and was getting dangerous and he didn’t expedite the withdraw, at a point in time when he could have done it safely,’ Hannity told viewers, ‘And not leave Americans behind enemy lines, and our Afghan allies to be murdered – and they will be.’  

DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Reuters also reviewed transcripts of a call later that day Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, General Mark Milley and U.S. Central Command commander General Frank McKenzie, who also focused on a ‘perception’ problem. 

Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Ghani ‘the perception in the United States, in Europe and the media sort of thing is a narrative of Taliban momentum, and a narrative of Taliban victory. And we need to collectively demonstrate and try to turn that perception, that narrative around.’

‘I do not believe time is our friend here. We need to move quickly,’ McKenzie added.

‘And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture’: Excerpts of Biden’s bombshell call with Ghani 

U.S. President Joe Biden and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani spoke by phone July 23. Here are excerpts from that call, based on a transcript and recording reviewed by Reuters:

BIDEN: Mr. President. Joe Biden.

GHANI: Of course, Mr. President, such a pleasure to hear your voice.

BIDEN: You know, I am a moment late. But I mean it sincerely. Hey look, I want to make it clear that I am not a military man any more than you are, but I have been meeting with our Pentagon folks, and our national security people, as you have with ours and yours, and as you know and I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren´t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.

And there´s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture. …..

BIDEN: If you empower Bismillah [Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi] to execute a strategy focused on key parts of the population centers, and I´m not a military guy, so I´m not telling you what that plan should precisely look like, you´re going to get not only more help, but you´re going to get a perception that is going to change in terms of how , um….. our allies and folks here in the States and other places think you´re doing.

You clearly have the best military, you have 300,000 well-armed forces versus 70-80,000 and they´re clearly capable of fighting well, we will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is and what we are doing. And all the way through the end of August, and who knows what after that.

We are also going to continue to make sure your air force is capable of continuing to fly and provide air support. In addition to that we are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows because it is clearly in the interest of the people of Afghanistan, that you succeed and you lead. And though I know this is presumptuous of me on one hand to say such things so directly to you, I have known you for a long while, I find you a brilliant and honorable man.

But I really think, I don´t know whether you´re aware, just how much the perception around the world is that this is looking like a losing proposition, which it is not, not that it necessarily is that, but so the conclusion I´m asking you to consider is to bring together everyone from [Former Vice President Abdul Rashid] Dostum, to [Former President Hamid] Karzai and in between, if they stand there and say they back the strategy you put together, and put a warrior in charge, you know a military man, [Defense Minister Bismillah] Khan in charge of executing that strategy, and that will change perception, and that will change an awful lot I think. …

GHANI: Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.

Second, what is crucial is, close air support, and if I could make a request, you have been very generous, if your assistance, particularly to our air force be front loaded, because what we need at this moment, there was a very heavily reliance on air power, and we have prioritized that if it could be at all front-loaded, we will greatly appreciate it.

And third, regarding procedure for the rest of the assistance, for instance, military pay is not increased for over a decade. We need to make some gestures to rally everybody together so if you could assign the national security advisor or the Pentagon, anyone you wish to work with us on the details, so our expectations particularly regarding your close air support. There are agreements with the Taliban that we [or “you” this is unclear] are not previously aware of, and because of your air force was extremely cautious in attacking them.

And the last point, I just spoke again to Dr. Abdullah earlier, he went to negotiate with the Taliban, the Taliban showed no inclination. We can get to peace only if we rebalance the military situation. And I can assure you…

BIDEN:

GHANI: And I can assure you I have been to four of our key cities, I´m constantly traveling with the vice president and others, we will be able to rally. Your assurance of support goes a very long way to enable us, to really mobilize in earnest. The urban resistance, Mr. President is been extraordinary, there are cities that have taken a siege of 55 days and that have not surrendered. Again, I thank you and I´m always just a phone call away. This is what a friend tells a friend, so please don´t feel that you´re imposing on me.

BIDEN: No, well, look, I, thank you. Look, close air support works only if there is a military strategy on the ground to support.

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