Taliban fighters from the Fateh Zwak unit storm into the Kabul International Airport, wielding American supplied weapons, equipment and uniforms after the United States Military have completed their withdrawal, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)
Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times


Morning Wire: Americans Left Behind In Afghanistan, Gavin Newsom Enlists Hollywood’s Help, Sports Teams Honor 13 Fallen Service Members


It’s Wednesday, September 1st, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.
1) Americans Left Behind In Afghanistan
The Topline: After 20 years, August 31st marked the official end of the war in Afghanistan, though not all Americans were evacuated from the country now controlled by the Taliban.

Quote Of The Day:

“Look, there’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get out everybody we had wanted to get out.”

– General Kenneth McKenzie

MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES / Contributor via Getty Images

Biden Fails To Deliver

With hundreds of American citizens — and many more green card holders and Afghan allies — left behind in Afghanistan, many are pointing out that President Biden failed to deliver on his promise that troops would stay until all American citizens were out of the country.

The President’s Response

On Tuesday afternoon, President Biden addressed the nation, describing the withdrawal as an “extraordinary success.” He also used most of his speech to level blame on others, such as former President Donald Trump.

He went on to say that many of those left behind chose to stay.

Biden admitted some Americans were stranded in Afghanistan despite having “some intention to leave.” However, even this reality was presented as a success, with Biden saying, “The bottom line, 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave. And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.”

No Questions

Following his speech, President Biden did not take questions from the press, despite his failure to address the status of Americans, green card holders, and Afghan allies who remain stranded in Afghanistan. The president’s decision to not answer questions from the press throughout the crisis in Afghanistan has drawn the ire of many across the political spectrum.

Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images

2) Gavin Newsom Enlists Hollywood’s Help
The Topline: With his recall election rapidly approaching, and the polls tightening, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) is reportedly turning to Hollywood for help.

Newsom’s A-List Friends

Since he was elected, Newsom has worked to gain favor in the entertainment industry.

Many of the industry’s top players have answered Newsom’s pleas for campaign funds, but his connections to Hollywood could also make him appear out-of-touch and elitist, which has been a challenge for him.

Newsom’s Larry Elder Challenge

Newsom’s main opponent, Larry Elder, is known for being a dynamic and straight-talking radio host. According to polls, Elder’s style is appealing to many minority voters who might otherwise not consider voting for a Republican.

Newsom has reportedly turned to people like Snoop Dogg and John Legend, as well as comedian George Lopez, to combat this challenge.

Elder also has some celebrity connections of his own. He announced earlier that Clint Eastwood called and endorsed him. He also has Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet backing him, as well as Chuck Norris.

Mike Stobe/Stringer/Getty Images

3) Sports Teams Honor 13 Fallen Service Members 
The Topline: After the tragic deaths of 13 U.S. soldiers in Kabul following a suicide bombing, professional sports teams have taken action to honor the fallen soldiers.

Quote Of The Day:

“At the end of the day, it is a game. It’s entertainment, right? That’s what it is. Now, they’re playing … life or death. It’s important that we keep in perspective what we do and that we stay very grateful …”

– Joe Judge, Head Coach of the New York Giants

New York Giants

The New York Giants played their third and final preseason game against the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

At the coin toss before the game, the three gameday captains of the Giants — Jabrill Peppers, Nick Gates, and Blake Martinez — wore hats representing the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, and the FDNY. Head coach Joe Judge wore a United States Marine Corp hat.

After the game — in his postgame news conference — Judge was asked about the hats and said they were in support of the military and those who lost their lives in Afghanistan. He mentioned that he receives pictures of people wearing Giants hats, t-shirts, and letters from soldiers overseas showing their support for the team. Coach Judge said he felt it was important to show that “we’re all on the same team and that we’re supporting them as well.”

Atlanta Braves 

On the day the remains of the 13 service members returned home, the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball reserved 13 seats at Truist Park on Sunday. Each seat had an American flag placed on top.

Nes/Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Dallas Shooting Investigated

Authorities are investigating possible terror motives for a man who shot and killed his Lyft driver before opening fire inside a police station in a suburb outside Dallas on Sunday. According to an FBI officer connected to the case, the 33-year-old suspect, who was shot dead by officers, reportedly left a letter suggesting he “may have been inspired by a foreign terrorist organization.”

The suspect was previously targeted in an FBI counterterrorism investigation, but agents at the time did not believe he was a threat.

Trust In Media Drops 

A new Pew Research poll shows trust in media is dropping among all political affiliations, and most significantly among Republicans. Since 2016, trust has fallen by 5 points among Democrats, 35 points among Republicans, and 18 points among adults as a whole.*

*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that trust in media among Independents has fallen 18 points since 2016. This 18-point drop is for all adults, not for Independents.

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