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'He Needs to Resign': Biden's Joking Response to Afghanistan Evacuation Question Raises Eyebrows

© REUTERS / LEAH MILLISFILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the situation in Afghanistan, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2021
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the situation in Afghanistan, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.08.2021
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Amid the chaotic evacuation of Americans and NATO states citizens – as well as their Afghan allies – Joe Biden's administration is under pressure to extend the deadline for getting people out of Afghanistan beyond 31 August. This date has been called a "red line" by the Taliban*.
US President Joe Biden has been branded “terrible” and a “callous human being” after he gave a sarcastic answer to an NBC reporter asking about the fate of Americans in Afghanistan.
NBC's Peter Alexander asked the POTUS during a cybersecurity summit on Wednesday what he would do if any US citizens remained in the country after the 31 August deadline to get them out expires.
“You'll be the first person I call,” Biden joked in response.
The president’s remark has caused shockwaves on social media; people have shared it online, including Alexander himself.
However, in one viral clip capturing the exchange between the two, the sound suddenly cuts out as Biden makes the joke.
House Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX 13th District) suggested on Twitter that the audio was redacted on purpose by Biden’s “handlers.”
“This is not funny,” the congressman noted. “He [Biden] needs to resign immediately!”
Even though it wasn't expected that the president would share the administration’s plans about any future operations in the Middle East with the media due to security concerns, the timing of the president's wisecrack is unfortunate.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on Wednesday that some 1,500 Americans may still need to be evacuated from Afghanistan – the US has already lifted 4,500 citizens and their families out of the country in the last ten days.
Blinken pledged to continue the evacuation effort “every day past August 31”:
"Let me be crystal clear about this: There is no deadline on our work to help any remaining American citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many Afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so," the secretary of state argued on Wednesday.
Biden signalled on Tuesday that the US was “on a pace to finish” evacuations of Americans and their allies by 31 August, which the Taliban earlier described as “a red line” for the Western military withdrawal. 
The president has so far been reluctant to extend the deadline despite pressure from NATO allies who are worried that there's not enough time to evacuate thousands of people desperate to escape Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover on 15 August.
The US president said on Tuesday that the timetable might be adjusted “should that become necessary.” The completion of the operation by 31 August “depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who were transport” he added, as violent chaos around and inside Kabul Airport continues.
Blinken said that the US has to date evacuated approximately 82,300 people from Afghanistan since 14 August.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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