- The Washington Times - Friday, September 3, 2021

President Biden will spend the Labor Day weekend at his home in Delaware.

Mr. Biden is taking a break after touring hurricane damage in Louisiana on Friday and overseeing the final U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan on Monday, though at least 100 Americans remain in the Taliban-controlled country.

He will spend Friday surveying damage from Hurricane Ida and meeting with local officials in Louisiana. He will then fly from New Orleans to Philadelphia and then to an airport near Wilmington, Delaware.

Sen. Ben Sasse. Nebraska Republican, criticized the president’s plans, accusing him of hiding from criticism over the botched Afghanistan withdrawal. 

“President Biden desperately wants to talk about anything but Afghanistan, but Americans who are hiding from the Taliban, ISIS, and the Haqqani network don’t give a damn about news cycles, long weekends, and polling — they want out,” Mr. Sasse said in a statement.

Mr. Biden’s trip home would be his 20th since taking office on Jan. 20. He was criticized for spending the weekends in Delaware or Camp David while the Taliban overran Afghanistan last month and toppled the democratically elected government.

The following weekend, Mr. Biden abruptly scuttled plans to return to Delaware amid the chaotic situation in Afghanistan. He spent last weekend working at the White House.

It is still unclear how many Americans remain in Afghanistan.

The White House puts the figure at 100 to 200, while Republican lawmakers suggest the number might be much higher.

In a speech this week, Mr. Biden cited the 100 to 200 range, emphasizing that the vast majority of Americans who wanted to leave have been evacuated.

He said 90% percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave have left. But the White House quietly corrected the president, changing the figure to 98% in the official transcript.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that it’s hard to know how many Americans have left Afghanistan since the withdrawal because some may have fled without notifying the U.S. government.

She said the government is trying to stay in touch with those Americans.

“What we are doing is we are tracking and staying in contact with all of the American citizens we are aware of on what our plans are, what the progress is, and what the — as we have updates on the timeline for when they can be able to depart,” she said.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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