NOW: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing

NOW: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing

american citizens as you well know and we expect that uh they will be able to reach the airport all right the afghan or the taliban are saying that they don’t want afghans uh to leave that now they want these afghans to stay that they’re needed to rebuild the country again our expectation and what we will continue to convey directly through a range of channels we have is that the individuals the special immigrant visa applicants those who are eligible those who we are facilitating their departure will be able to reach the airport the statement they just put out about a half hour ago but the august 31st deadline is sticking to it uh the president has from uh uh both uh here at home and abroad uh have wanted him to push that deadline back some and also critics of the president are uh speaking out very strongly on on his decision what do you say to those who are criticizing the president by sticking to this deadline it amounts to him to capitulating to the taliban well first and i think i’m just going to read the statement i know a number of you have seen it but just in case because i think it has quite a bit of additional context that is not exactly aligned in in you know he stuck with the deadline as you just conveyed during a meeting this morning with the g7 leaders the president conveyed that our mission in kabul will end based on the achievement of our objectives that is a key component there he confirmed we are currently on pace to finish by august 31st as you all know in the last nine days we have effectively helped evacuate 57 000 people and that has continued to uh escalate uh the number of people we’re getting out each day uh and our focus uh is uh and we it is continues to be on evacuating americans who want to come home third country nationals and afghans who are our allies during the war he also made clear that with each day of operations on the ground we have added risk to our troops with increasing threats from isis k and that completion of the mission by august 31st depends on continued coordination with the taliban including continued access for evacuees to the airport in addition as we noted in the statement he asked the pentagon and the state department for contingency plans to adjust the timeline should that become necessary so i think there’s quite a bit of context in there including the threat from isis k which is quite real and one that we are tracking and monitoring very closely from our national security and intelligence teams to the continued cooperation of the taliban in as it relates to getting american citizens and our key allies on the ground to the airport and the third of course is is ensuring that we have contingencies should they be needed so i think those are pretty uh important caveats in the reporting go ahead if you do have to adjust the timeline how long are you talking about i’m not going to get ahead of any contingency plans that are drawn up by the state department and the defense department as you all know the president has been meeting and being and attended and participated in briefings with his national security team once a day sometimes twice a day is in constant and regular contact and i expect we’ll get some updates in short order when do you need to start pulling troops out of the kabul airport to make to meet the august 31 it’s a great question steve i just don’t want to get into operational details that are under the purview of the department of defense go ahead but you are correct i will note that it would not be it would there would have to be time in advance of the 31st or time in advance of whatever the date is in order to do that but they can give you the operational details go ahead so does that mean that the evacuations will stop before the actual 31st so then there is time to get the troops and their machinery and weaponry out of there that would be correct yes that there would need to be time to wind down the presence i will note though that the purpose of this statement is to provide additional context of what the president conveyed to the g7 which includes a number of very key components as he assesses day by day and that includes the threat of isis which is of great concern understandably to the president given the threat it poses to our military who are on the ground serving uh proudly and bravely on the ground it also includes the essential aspect of having the taliban’s coordination continue over the coming days so we can facilitate as many people as we’ve been getting out and so what i read from this statement is he has not ruled out extending the deadline is that right well he asked for contingency plans but believes we continue to be on track to accomplish our mission one more question jim sorry i know it’s three does this mean if he does stand by this august 31st deadline that every single us troop will be out of afghanistan by august 31st again i will leave it to the department of defense to get into operational details uh as you know and as i’ve noted he is meeting with his national security team every single day often more than once a day to continue to discuss and as i noted also in this statement he’s asked for contingency plans go ahead thanks jen just to follow up on homer’s question so are you saying that despite this threat by the taliban to stop afghans from boarding planes you’re not seeing any slowdown in afghans being able to get to the airport if they need to i’m conveying that what we have articulated is that uh individ afghans not every app there are millions of afghans as we know who want to leave the country or a large number of afghans who want to leave the country i think that’s safe to say what i’m talking about is the individuals we have prioritized those who have fought alongside us who are eligible for special immigrant visas who otherwise wise we are facilitating their departure and that our expectation is that they will be able to reach the airport so i’m just trying to figure out if the taliban has made good on this threat yet and sounds like you’re saying they haven’t i don’t have an update on that i’m just conveying to what our expectation is and what we are continuing to communicate directly and is the cia director now the chief negotiator for the u.s in kabul and how long does he plan to stay there i certainly understand your question i refer you to the cia on any specific questions about his location or specific uh role go ahead for a little bit of clarity because minutes and hours matter here we talk about august 31st is the understanding between the u.s and the taliban that that ends at midnight at the end of august 31st afghan time american time is at the end of the 30th heading into the 31st when exactly is the deadline as it currently exists it’s really a great question um and i want to give you a very clear and articulate answer from the team on the ground so i’ll just have to get back to you on that to make sure we give you the accurate information what is the last i know you’re continuing to do this actively as you indicated to one of my colleagues a moment ago obviously there’s going to be time needed to be able to get out the american troops and others who are helping facilitate this process what is the last call for americans on the ground there to come to the airport at kabul we are in touch with americans directly and we have contact with and i can give you an overarching an overall assessment of where we stand with that if that’s helpful as well but i’m not going to give you more of an articulation of that from here are there any active threats you talked about in that statement the threat that’s posed by isis k but are there any active threats to kabul to h kyo right now uh i’m not going to give you an intelligence assessment from here either but i can convey to you that we have increasing concerns about the threats and that is certainly a part of the president’s assessment and decision making go ahead thank you jen is there any concern that maybe trying to reach this deadline and get everybody out uh mistakes are being made now that there is a report that at least one of the afghans evacuated to qatar has suspected isis ties well first i would say we have a stringent vetting process which includes uh background checks before any individual comes to the united states so i can’t speak to one individual but i can tell you and confirm for you that we take the vetting of any individual who comes to the united states and and comes out incredibly seriously and it’s an extensive process i would say that this is now on track peter to be the largest airlift in u.s history uh so and that is uh bringing american citizens out it is bringing our afghan partners out it is bringing allies out uh so no i would not say that is that anything but a success okay and i know that you said yesterday it’s irresponsible to say that americans are stranded in afghanistan right now what do you say to the american citizen in kabul that fox spoke to this morning her name is she’s going by fatima she says we are stranded at home for four days three days we didn’t hear anything from anywhere and they’re saying to go to the airport but we’re not being given clear guidance our emails are getting ignored well why don’t i convey to you exactly what we are doing and i think what’s important to note that i also said yesterday in the full context of my answer which i put out today was that we are committed to bringing americans home who want to leave and that is the president’s commitment we are so let me explain to you how our process works and there have been some very questions including from you and from others about this uh one as we’ve said uh this is a dynamic number uh we’re working hour by hour to refine and make it precise understand your desire and interest in having exact number of american citizens on the ground and the state department i expect will have an exact update on that tomorrow just to remind you the us government does not track our citizens when they travel around the world we rely on self-reporting not just in afghanistan anywhere in the world people have to decide to register or not it’s up to them individuals whether they decide to register or not wherever they may be and if you register when you’re in a country like afghanistan you aren’t required to deregister the state department also issues alerts they have publicized phone number and email to contact if you’re in it afghanistan and want assistance to leave and for months the department has been telling americans to leave afghanistan for their own safety it is our responsibility and our role to work with and help american citizens who want to leave let me finish i’m almost done and you can ask a follow-up question in recent days they have reached out to every american citizen registered in afghanistan directly multiple times this is a 24 7 operation embassies all over the world are supporting phone banking text spanking and email efforts if we are not in touch with this individual give me their contact information and we will get in touch with them if any of you are hearing from american citizens who can’t reach us give me their contact information and we will get in contact with them our estimate of the overall number of american citizens who are there can increase because folks are just now responding to our outreach who may not have registered it can also decrease because people leave they don’t tell us they leave or individuals who may reach out and convey uh they they have the documentation needed don’t uh so there are a range of factors here and it’s our responsibility to give you accurate information that’s what our focus is saying no americans are stranded this is someone in kabul who says i am stranded uh so is there a better word for somebody who can’t leave the house to get to the airport because jake sullivan says isis is outside the airport i would welcome you providing their phone number and we will reach out to them today and i can assure you of that the final question if the taliban said that staying past the 31st was going to provoke a reaction and then president biden decides okay we won’t stay do they have the same kind of influence over military planning as the commander-in-chief well first of all peter the tal the taliban’s deadline was may 1st struck on a deal with the prior administration the president’s timeline was august 31st that’s the timeline he set in a time in a period of time he needed in order to operationalize our departure from afghanistan i’d also note that as i said as we convey in the statement that our objective and our focus and the focus of the commander-in-chief is always going to be on the safety and security of the men and women who are serving our country in the military and that has to be a factor here and that certainly is a factor for him as he thinks about the timeline go ahead can president biden assure that uh afghan allies that help the military will be able to get out and will he extend a deadline to help those people get out uh well i will say that we will certainly have additional folks eligible to come to the united states after august 31st that we will help relocate but i would also note that we have we have now evacuated 58 700 people in the last nine days uh and we are continuing to be in direct contact with uh eligible uh special immigrant visa applicants of course with american citizens uh and with individuals who uh would we are working to facilitate their departure so our focus is on getting the job done by august 31st uh and that’s what we’re doing day to day at this point and secondly on the vetting question we’re seeing more debate in across the country about about as the refugees come here what is the white house doing to convey the vetting standards and to assure any kind of state officials that people that may end up in their state are are okay well first no one is coming to the united states who has not gone through a security vetting process i would note to peter’s earlier question for people who we evacuated who had not yet completed security of vetting under the usual siv application process in the interest of getting them out of afghanistan to third countries we are also front loading our security screening to complete the steps that have proven most likely to surface derogatory information uh while uh while these afghans remain at transit sites in europe and the middle east before they arrive here so actually to go back to his earlier question because it’s all related it’s actually the system working um and we have a vetting process and a background check uh that uh can happen in advance of individuals coming to the united states if they’ve gone through the siv process or individuals who have been moved to third countries before they move further just to follow up real quickly so is there going to be an education campaign is there going to be information sent to to stakeholders across the country who may have some concerns oh sorry do you mean domestically here in the united states that’s correct oh absolutely sorry i was misunderstanding your question yes we are in touch with governors we are in touch with local authorities we are in touch with communities we’ve been engaging with local media and we will continue to do that so there’s an understanding of the stringent uh process that we have in place before individuals come to the united states and i think a part of that is also a reminder that um these are individuals who fought alongside the united states over the last 20 years uh and that’s part of who we are as a country uh and part of you know the fabric of the united states so that’s part of it as well but in terms of the specific vetting components yes we’re absolutely thinking about that and ensuring we’re communicating that effectively or that’s our objective go ahead uh can you share more about the possible possible incident of havana syndrome that delayed the vice president’s trip sure uh first i will say that the vice president is now in country uh in vietnam uh and uh certainly we take very seriously um let me just get the information so i can get it to you very clearly hold on one second hmm a lot going on today i will just note um no shortage um okay um so um we uh we of course um take any uh reported incident of havana syndrome seriously and well and while this is not a confirmed case at this point in time we take any reported incident which was recent and was reported publicly i will note quite seriously as a result there was an assessment done of the safety of the vice president and there was a decision made that she could continue travel along with her staff it was not a person traveling in her party or anything along those lines does the white house believe she was targeted or something off her teammates that is not an assessment that’s been made it was an individual who was in country and it had been reported previously can you confirm that with two two embassy staffers i don’t have any additional detail beyond that okay and one of afghanistan afghans who are at british in afghanistan won’t be able to get out in time how will the u.s try to keep them safe after august 31st well i i think as i just said in response to i think alex’s question there are individuals who will be eligible um after who we expect who will certainly be eligible after august 31st and we are determining how operationally we can deliver on that uh it’s a good question i don’t have an update right now go ahead um i have a question about a report on the conditions in doha it was reported by axios today a u.s central command internal email described the housing for thousands of that evacuees as a watch with blue species and urine and a rat infestation a life-threatening humanitarian disaster is the president aware of these conditions and is there anything going on to improve them uh absolutely and i think the report is actually from a couple of days i understand it was an axios this morning but i believe that the conditions were a report from several days ago and certainly the state department and other officials who are working in close coordination with countries who are hosting individuals as they’re passing through or maybe as they’re landing there for a longer period of time or have been working to improve those conditions over the past few days i’m happy to get you an update on that but it is something we are aware of it is something we work quickly to improve and certainly uh we want the individuals who are being evacuated to be treated with respect we also want them to be safe hence the speed necessity but we worked to improve the conditions as soon as we learned go ahead thanks jen um in the statement that you released you said the president conveyed that our mission in kabul and based on the achievement of our objectives can you be more specific about what those objectives would be are we talking about getting all americans out a certain number of afghans out who helped the american effort what what will be the specific sort of benchmarks in deciding that the objectives of the mission of demand well the statement also conveys in evacuating americans who want to come home third country nationals and afghans who are allies during the war and we again have evacuated 50 700 people in the last nine days that is the mission we’re continuing to work to deliver on i also noted in the statement we also noted in the statement that of course we have to assess the security threats on the security threats not only to individuals on the ground to the men and women serving on the ground i mean that is front and center in the president’s mind so that means all the individuals in the categories that you know in the statement again i think we’ve been clear that our objective is to any american who wants to leave to help them leave that is what we’re focused on every single day i don’t have anything more to add beyond what i said in the statement putting aside the specific activities of the cia director why did the president decide to dispatch him to meet with the taliban i’m just not going to have any more on this as we’ve noted and confirmed many times in the past we are in regular contact with the taliban they are currently uh overseeing uh most of the country of afghanistan so by necessity uh that’s part of the jobs of our national security team but for any details on the cia director i’d point you to the cia go ahead thanks john during the cover response team briefing jeff science gave some overall statistics about the allotment of personnel ventilators and ambulances across the country sure do you all have a state-by-state breakdown of that or even more granular i can certainly check you mean in terms of materials we’ve provided to states resources yeah absolutely i’m certainly do we can see if that’s something we can get out to you as well and then i have a question on section 1005 of the american rescue plan which is the debt relief for farmers of color this has obviously been minor now down in i believe 13 lawsuits um these obviously these pharmacists still need debt relief is the administration exploring any other ways of getting these resources to farmers of color under this program or under an alternative scheme through the administration well as you noted there is active litigation and obviously we had proposed plans to provide assistance uh to these farmers and hence and and there’s active limited litigation that’s ongoing but uh i can convey to you that our commitment is to certainly help these farmers i would point to the department of agriculture for any more specifics about their programs but i know that equity is central to their objectives and certainly is part of how they um how they um orchestrate uh any of their programs um go ahead uh thanks do you know what the tenor of the g7 meeting was today was there any ex like this satisfaction expressed by some of the allies can you say if they conveyed some of their displeasure with the u.s actions of the president’s elections i know bloomberg has reporters all around the world and i will let them report on uh their leaders and not kind of give an evaluation of their tenors but if it’s accurate that the u.s is already starting to reduce the number of u.s troops in afghanistan i would point to the primitive defense for any operational specifics i know they’ll brief again today go ahead just a couple of quick clarifications earlier today the pentagon said that about 4 000 americans who have been evacuated uh can you provide additional contacts with that on military flights and military flights and charters anything else you could say about who these people were and whether that gives you any more of a sense of how many remain in afghanistan well i would say it’s um more than four thousand americans uh plus their families so it’s actually a larger number than that but yes more than 4 000 passport holders or american citizens plus their families in terms of their mechanism for departure it’s a very good question i don’t have that level of detail in front of me but we can see if we can break that down more specifically so you’re asking about whether they came on military planes or charter planes yeah earlier you had been kind of breaking those two sure we did this military plus charter yes uh which we we will continue to do but but i will see if there’s a more of a concrete breakdown for you and are you able to say at this point if if the indication is that this has to go beyond the deadline is that something that would be telegraphed or indicated beforehand or would that be a last-minute decision or announcement from from the government well again i mean i think as we stated in our uh in the statement i put out earlier uh we are currently on pace to finish by august 31st but the president also uh asked the pentagon state department for contingency plans uh we’ll let them brief him on those before we give a further assessment go ahead i’ll come back to you go ahead thanks jim uh two questions on the vice president’s uh trip delay sure uh the the last minute delay of the flight suggests that her and her team found out about uh this case of anomalous health incident last minute how last minute was it when did the case occur and uh are you concerned with the timing of given her trouble again i think this is similar to stephanie’s question there hasn’t been any additional assessment about any targeting as i think you’re asking about it hasn’t even been a confirmed case at this point in time and certainly it shouldn’t be a surprise that for the vice president of this of the united states that uh you know additional precautions were taken um it was a recent case and one that was publicly reported the uh embassy hanoi said that there was a thorough assessment uh before she proceeded on with her trip um if you do if the government genuinely doesn’t know what’s causing these incidents then how can you guarantee the vice president’s security i’m not going to get into security details i can assure you that the vice president of the united states wouldn’t travel further to a country if there wasn’t confidence in her security on the ground go ahead oh sorry as you said there’s a lot going on just across the street maybe an hour or so ago there were voting rights activists who said the president need to do more needs to do more they also said that the president needs to lean in on the filibuster in the senate as the house is expected to pass voting rights hr4 to death what is the thought behind that from the white house as people of all walks of life are out there saying that he needs to do more that this president is not doing enough for the constituency that he said that he was going to work for well i would say first that voting rights and ensuring access to voting continues to be a central priority for the president and in any white house and for any president you have to do many things at one time and he certainly is the first uh to understand that uh but he stands by the activists and their vocal calls for more and for forward action i would say he’s with them he’s maybe not the right target of their frustration uh you know because his objective is also to get voting rights legislation passed and he would like to sign that legislation into law he doesn’t believe in ending the filibuster and that’s the big hurdle in the senate and they are saying that we are now voting like we voted in 1964. voting rights has been stripped by the supreme court twice and now there are restrictive laws in states that are precluding free and fair voting in this nation absolutely april and it’s outrageous and the president is outraged by it and that’s why he has asked his vice president to lead this effort that’s why he has taken steps including a historic executive order on voting rights that’s why he uh has supported the efforts by the attorney general and the department of justice to continue to take steps that are at their disposal to crack down on these abuses across the country and why he will continue to make it as a central priority for him go ahead karen i think we got to keep going because we’re going to run out of time yesterday we don’t know what happened yesterday was he in support of taking the knee support of police reform or was he just near because we were told to ask you well the president certainly supports police reform but he also was taking a photo with a sports team and he has also kneeled and other occasions with sports teams in the past go ahead karen follow up on some of the questions about your statement when you say there that he’s asked the pentagon state department for contingency plans to adjust the timeline should that become necessary what metric would determine whether that becomes necessary what is the president looking for well karen i think it’s not as simple as a metric i understand your question but for any president they’re making a risk assessment in coordination with their teams and the threat from isis k is real uh the the possibility of a deterioration of coordination with the taliban is real uh putting uh our service members at risk is real and those are certainly part of the president’s decision making in any regard and again we continue to be on track it’s been nine days we’ve evacuated 58 700 people right now it’s the 24th we have about seven days until the 31st and we’re going to continue to press hard to get american citizens out get our afghan partners out siv applicants and others who are eligible for departure out on the president’s engagement with members of congress this week specifically on afghanistan who is he talking to on this and just some of the conversations he’s had well the president has had a range of conversations with members of congress a lot of them have been about his build back better agenda a range of democrats from across the political spectrum i don’t have an assessment for you of how many of those have included questions from them about afghanistan i can confirm for you which is often the case we have been doing a number of briefings from our national security team with members of congress some of them in a classified briefing and we’ll continue to do that and remain closely engaged uh with our process and our progress on the ground go ahead uh in a statement today uh you said that the mission in kabul would end up in the achievement of our objectives what percentage of afghan allies would constitute achieving that objective i’m not going to put a number on that for you nor have we put a cap on how many of how many special immigrant visa applicants there can be or how many individuals who would be eligible for any of our range of programs could come to the united states we’re going to continue to work to process we’re going to continue to evacuate we’re going to continue to work with nearly two dozen partners around the world to move people out of the country the administration used federal funding as a lever to push nursing homes to vaccinate the workers does the administration consider using title 1 funding for schools to push vaccination requirements for teachers well i would say first that we’ve seen including recently i think today or yesterday and missouri additional steps taken that in our view put more kids at risk um the president uh thinks that’s completely unacceptable and he has asked his uh secretary of education and and directed i should say his secretary of education to use all his authority to help those school districts doing the right thing to ensure every one of their students has access to a fundamental right of safe in-person learning this can include a number of considerations but i’ll let the secretary speak to that i’ll let the secretary speak to it but the president has directed him to use every authority to ensure we’re protecting kids across the country go ahead um you mentioned today that we can provide you with information about those who are stranded and i think a lot of us in this room are getting calls or know at least one person there yeah is there a better way that the white house can create these more direct connections to these people because it seems to be like you know we have more access than these people so just wondering how these people can directly contact one uh anyone who has an american citizen who uh they are who are they are looking to help get out any of you send them to me directly and i will get it to the right place we are absolutely committed to this this is across the government commitment why i laid out the all the specific steps we’re taking is because i wanted to provide an understanding of what we’re doing from here anyone we have contact information for and it is possible that the person you know or the person peter knows we may not have contacted or the right contact information that is also entirely possible we are reaching out via phone via text via email any way we can and we’re giving them instructions on how to get to the airport when to come to the airport we have an entire apparatus and operation set up on the ground we’re advertising and this is a 24 7 operation of reaching out to these individuals regarding the vice president um was she in contact with these people that were experiencing these syndrome these symptoms rather and then did she get medically evaluated there was a security assessment made she was not on the ground yet um go ahead thank you jen two questions yesterday the bride and administration are now sanctioned against the dog military eureka is for human rights abuses in ethiopia’s degree region is the administration planning to extend the assumption to the prime minister of ethiopia and the president of egyptia and he has the president is the president going to be as involved in the crisis in ethiopia the way the same way he was engaged in the crisis in between palestinian and well i can certainly confirm those sanctions as you noted i don’t have anything to preview for you in terms of additional sanctions obviously we continue to evaluate reserve that right should should that be a recommendation made and something the president approves and i will certainly note that uh the president we are we are closely tracking we are closely engaged with high-level officials in the situation on the ground um go ahead i have a question thank you okay let me just i just have a few more minutes but in case we gotta gather so i just want to get around to as many people as possible we’ll just keep track of it but go ahead does it follow up to jennifer’s question sure the g7 virtual meeting yeah good morning from a white house point of view when that meeting was over was the president satisfied that the message had gotten through to them was did you think there was a consensus among those leaders was there a lot of pushback where were you happy with how it ended let’s put it that way i appreciate the different way of asking the question which is very creative um i will i will say first the president is about to give an update uh both on uh the progress that is being made in the house and also his meeting with the g7 leaders i know that that was now several hours ago but we wanted to wait as there was progress being made in the house for him to give that statement so he can speak to that and he will speak clearly to what he conveyed to them directly to give you all a sense in terms of the assessment from others again i would point you to them on any further satisfied with it at the end well i think the president felt he conveyed what his position is and uh part of his position uh which was part a big part of his decision as it related to bringing our troops home and is also a huge factor for him now is about what we’re asking the men and women in the military to do and obviously the decision to bring them home related to fighting a war that the afghans wouldn’t fight themselves and now it of course is a factor for him what threats are being posed to them every day that they are on the ground there go ahead thank you two quick questions how do you describe u.s relationship with taliban now do you think is a de facto ruler of afghanistan uh well i would say first that it is it is true that they have over taken over much of afghanistan but this is not about trust this is not about validation right now we are working with them in a coordinated way to get american citizens to get special immigrant visa applicants to get individuals who are eligible to evacuate from the from afghanistan out either to third countries or to the united states uh but uh i’m not going to put a further label on it than that that the taliban has included former president karzai and dr abdullah duly the federal member governing council how do you see this development i don’t have an update on their discussions uh at this point in time from here go ahead hi i’ll come back to you sorry about that good she was signed from bloomberg law would the president accept a buildback better package that doesn’t include medicare drug pricing negotiation uh certainly lowering the price of prescription drugs it’s a top priority to the president that’s why he proposed it i’m not going to negotiate from here but i also know there’s a lot of support uh in congress for that initiative go ahead thank you uh follow up on the metrics question mm-hmm um it’s hypothetical but it’s not totally i love hypotheticals go ahead go ahead i didn’t mean to go ahead okay um say after the withdrawal it’s done you know it’s declared it’s done everyone’s out if one u.s citizen was suddenly discovered you know saying hey i really want to get out and i’m stuck who knows where somewhere in afghanistan or in kabul you’ve got any problem would this trigger a diplomatic military or hands-on deck type thing to get that person out whatever the date our commitment continues to be to u.s citizens if they want to leave we will help get them out of the day again we expect there could be some uh but i i don’t i’m not going to get into it further go ahead thanks jen uh good question to follow up on you said uh the president’s been in touch with members about the buildback better plan i wondered did he have direct conversations with this group of 10 moderates who were in talks with the speaker about advancing you know the bipartisan package versus the reconciliation bill did he have direct contact with them or did he reach out to them at all as they were trying to kind of broker this agreement he spoke with a range of members including some uh from the group of nine i believe it is um about uh the path forward and obviously we’re seeing progress and that’s a good sign and the president will speak to it shortly go ahead thanks jeff okay we’ve got to wrap up in a second here thanks jen i’m following up on jennifer’s and bob’s question again okay and that is is that tony blair wrote a pretty scathing uh op-ed claiming that the that president biden’s decision put politics over policy and also the question is here first of all with the how does the white house respond to that and also there’s this lingering question that the president has had this impulse to get out of afghanistan he even had a interaction with a former diplomat holbrook that said where holbrook said listen we have a duty to these people and the vice president reportedly had answered to that what is your response well i would first say that that was clearly more than ten years ago um second if it happens which i have no confirmation of but i would say first that um the president has been in touch directly with prime minister boris johnson who is the current leader of the uk um and has been clear with his g7 partners about what his objectives are his commitment to the mission the progress we’re making and the factors that he has considered and that is something he’s in touch with current leaders about we also understand that allies and partners of ours um and and adversaries for different reason uh have uh advocated for uh the united states and our men and women in the military staying longer but as the president of the united states and the commander-in-chief of this country he has to factor in their security their safety and that is his responsibility even if it’s not theirs thanks everyone you’re going to see the president shortly you
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NOW: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing

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