'I Haven't Seen That Poll': Biden Smirks as He Reacts to Dip in Approval Rating Amid Afghan Crisis
08:43 GMT 23.08.2021 (Updated: 13:22 GMT 06.08.2022)
Late last week, Donald Trump called the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan a "horrific decision" by President Joe Biden, adding that the White House should be prepared to send troops back into Afghanistan in order to help thousands of American citizens who remain there.
President Joe Biden chuckled when asked on Sunday about a new poll revealing that some Americans believe POTUS is no longer "competent, focused, or effective at the job" amid the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"I haven't seen that poll", Biden said during a press conference following his address to the nation about the US evacuation effort in Afghanistan.
CBS reporter Ed O'Keefe then said that the poll is "out there, from CBS [News] this morning", something that prodded the US president to laugh it off.
Shortly after, O'Keefe’s colleague Bo Erickson called on the US administration to brief Biden on the survey.
"Dear White House staff, please share the below polling to POTUS. He said he had not seen it yet", Erickson wrote on his Twitter page.
The poll found that Biden's approval rating has fallen over the past few months due to his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
According to the survey, half of Americans approve of the way Biden is handling his job, but the same number, 50 percent, disapprove of POTUS. The same poll conducted in March revealed that only 38 percent disapproved of the US president.
© REUTERS / US MARINESA Marine assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command assists evacuees during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 20, 2021.
A Marine assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command assists evacuees during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 20, 2021.
© REUTERS / US MARINES
Sunday's incident with the reporter was preceded by Biden admitting that the evacuation of "thousands of people from Kabul is going to be hard and painful".
"No matter when it started, when we began, it would have been true if we had started a month ago, or a month from now. There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss and [the] heartbreaking images you see on television", he said.
Biden also revealed American forces may stay beyond the 31 August deadline in Afghanistan to help with the evacuation of US nationals amid the ongoing chaos at the Kabul Airport. On Saturday, he touted the US rescue mission in Kabul as the "largest airlift of people in history", thanking Qatar for its assistance in supporting the transfer point for those evacuated.
22 August 2021, 21:42 GMT
Biden's remarks on Sunday came as former US President Donald Trump told supporters in Cullman, Alabama, that the situation in Afghanistan will go down as "one of the greatest embarrassments" and the "greatest foreign policy humiliation" in the history of the US.
The 45th president accused Biden of surrendering the country's military bases in Afghanistan, stressing that American troops are leaving $83 billion worth of military equipment behind.
"This will go down as one of the great military defeats of all time", Trump argued, calling the US troop withdrawal a "total surrender" and "gross incompetence by the nation's leader".
The former US president also predicted Biden's approach to Afghanistan will result in "the Taliban flag flying over our [US] embassy" in Afghanistan on 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan comes in accordance with a deal reached between the Trump administration and the Taliban* in Doha, Qatar, in Feburary 2020.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.