to be fair…
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan attempted to defend the chaotic and heartbreaking frenzy to escape Kabul on Monday during a tense appearance on Today.
President Biden had claimed last month that there would be "no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan," although the Today show's Savannah Guthrie was quick to point out to Sullivan that that's exactly what's happening as the Afghanistan capital falls to the Taliban. "Well first Savannah, to be fair, the helicopter has been the mode of transport from our embassy to the airport for the last 20 years," Sullivan said.
Guthrie immediately pushed back on Sullivan, pointing out that "it's not the helicopter" that's the issue but the "last-minute scramble, you know that. It's the last-minute scramble when the assurances from the president himself were this is not what we were going to see."
Sullivan further doubled down by arguing that the real worst-case scenario for the United States "would be a circumstance in which we were adding back in thousands and thousands of troops to fight and die in a civil war in Afghanistan when the Afghan army wasn't prepared to fight in it itself" and that while it's "heartbreaking to see what's happening in Kabul," the president "stands by that decision." Watch the full interview below.