Shortly after the State Department told reporters a “majority” of Afghan partners were left behind as the United States withdrew, the White House highlighted a different figure.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said at Wednesday’s White House briefing that 77% of the people evacuated were “Afghans at risk” following the Taliban takeover of the country.
“Are there more people who want to leave Afghanistan?” she asked. “Absolutely.”
President Joe Biden and his subordinates have emphasized the success of the airlifts in terms of the absolute number of people who were evacuated from Afghanistan ahead of the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.
But State Department officials earlier Wednesday described being “haunted” by the “painful trade-offs and choices” that had to be made in terms of who would leave and who would remain behind.
“Those crowds that were outside the access points were on the verge of flipping