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Senator Repeatedly Grills Generals: Were Biden's Statements on Afghanistan 'False'?

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Two of the nation’s top generals faced a grilling over statements from President Joe Biden about the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) confronted the generals about what he called Biden’s “false” statements regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“On Aug. 18, in a media interview to the American people said that none of his military advisers said that he should keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan,” Sullivan said.

He asked, “Gen. Milley, that was a false statement by the President of the United States, was it not?”

“I didn’t even see the statement to tell you the truth,” Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded.

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Sullivan noted that he read a statement from Biden and asked, “Was that a false statement to the American people or not?”

“I’m not going to characterize a statement from the president of the United States,” Milley responded.

Sullivan asked Gen. Frank McKenzie, who was in charge of U.S. forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, the same question, but added, “You do not have a duty to cover for the President when he’s not telling the truth. Was that a false statement or not?”

“I’ve given you my opinion on the matter, I’ve given you my judgment…” McKenzie said.

Sullivan said, “I think we all know it was a false statement.”

Earlier in the day, McKenzie and Milley said they recommended keeping at least 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. That was an apparent contradiction of Biden’s statement that none of his military advisers recommended against withdrawing all U.S. forces, as IJR reported.

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Sullivan continued, “The president also said if there’s an American citizen left behind in Afghanistan, the military is going to stay until we get them out. Gen. Milley, did that statement turn out to be true or untrue by the president?”

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“I think that was the intent, but we gave him a recommendation on the 25th of August to terminate the mission on the 31st of August,” Milley said.

The Alaska senator shot back, “Statement was untrue.”

He then asked about Biden’s claim that al-Qaeda was “gone from Afghanistan.” He was, “Was that true or not true?”

Milley responded by saying al-Qaeda had a presence in Afghanistan in mid-August and still does. However, he added that they have been “severely disrupted.” McKenzie also confirmed that the terrorist group still has a presence in the country.

Finally, Sullivan asked if Milley agrees with Biden’s statement that the evacuation from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success.”

“I think one of the other senators said it very well, it was a logistical success but a strategic failure. And I think those are two different terms,” Milley said.

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