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Psaki: ‘We Have Enormous Leverage Over The Taliban’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Holds Daily Briefing WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 30: White House Press Secretary Jen Pskai talks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on August 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki fielded questions about Hurricane Ida, the ongoing pull out of U.S. military forces and their allies from Afghanistan and other topics. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Chip Somodevilla / Staff via Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla / Staff via Getty Images

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about what kind of “leverage” the United States has over the Taliban. 

Psaki pointed reporters to the remarks Secretary of State made on Monday. She went on to say that “we have enormous leverage over the Taliban.”

She said that includes “access to the global marketplace,” claiming that is “not a small piece of leverage.”

“In order to gain access to the global marketplace, we’re going to be watching closely as will the global community. I would note that yesterday, the U.N. Security Council also…passed a resolution that made clear to what the expectation is in terms of safe travel and evacuation, or departure, I should say, of individuals who want to leave Afghanistan,” she added. 

Psaki also said that “nearly half of the countries in the world have also signed onto a statement making clear that is the expectation.”

She went on to say that the engagement with the Taliban will continue “through our ongoing channels that we have with the Taliban on the diplomatic front.”

After the last U.S. forces departed from the region, hundreds of Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan.

Last week, Psaki said that it was “irresponsible” to say Americans were “stranded.” 

“I think it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not,” Psaki last week at a press briefing. “We are committed to bringing Americans, who want to come home, home. We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via e-mail, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home.”

President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Tuesday regarding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the debacle that has taken place in the past several weeks.

As The Daily Wire reported, Biden turned his back on reporters after his speech and did not take questions. 

Earlier this month, Biden told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that troops would stay in the country until all of the Americans were out.

Stephanopoulos asked, “So Americans should understand that troops might have to be there beyond August 31st?”

Biden answered, “No. Americans should understand that we’re gonna try to get it done before August 31st.”

Stephanopoulos went on, “But if we don’t, the troops will stay—”

“If — if we don’t, we’ll determine at the time who’s left,” Biden answered. 

“And? Stephanopoulos asked. 

Biden eventually admitted, “And if you’re American force — if there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out.”

In his speech on Tuesday, Biden said that he is taking responsibility for the events of the past several weeks, but he appeared to cast blame in other directions, as well. 

“The assumption was that more than 300,000 Afghan national security forces that we had trained over the past two decades and equipped would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the Taliban,” he said. “That assumption, that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown, turned out not to be accurate.”

At least thirteen U.S. service members were killed last week in a terror attack at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan last week. The attack left several other service members wounded and killed over a hundred Afghans. 

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