President Biden on Wednesday joked when a reporter asked what he would do if there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan after the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.
“You’ll be the person I call,” Mr. Biden said with a laugh.
He offered the retort ahead of a meeting with leaders from Silicon Valley and other industries about strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Mr. Biden was responding to a question about when he would provide information, adding that it was “an incredibly serious issue.’
“Of course, it’s a very important question and … what I can convey from here is that as he stated yesterday and as the secretary of state just stated, we’re on track to complete our mission by August 31,” she said.
Critics have slammed Mr. Biden for mostly avoiding news media questions about the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.
After a long-delayed speech about the Afghanistan withdrawal on Tuesday, Mr. Biden walked away while reporters shouted questions. The last time that Mr. Biden answered questions from reporters was Friday.
“Joe Biden is more dedicated to evacuating himself from his own press conferences than evacuating stranded Americans from behind enemy lines!” Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican, wrote on Twitter.
Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk on Tuesday said Mr. Biden‘s refusal to take questions demonstrates he‘s “unfit” to be president.
“Joe Biden made us wait five hours for a 10-minute address which told us nothing and then refused to answer questions from a friendly press corp,” he wrote.
Ms. Psaki and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan have fielded questions daily from reporters at press briefings.