Biden Is a 'Deserter': Elise Stefanik Slams President's Absence While Afghanistan Falls

Biden Is a 'Deserter': Elise Stefanik Slams President's Absence While Afghanistan Falls

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) railed against President Joe Biden and called him a “deserter” for hiding from the outcome of his failed handling of the Afghan war.

“The Commander-in-Chief is totally and unbelievably absent,” the congresswoman said in a tweet on Monday. “The President of the United States is a deserter.”

The Commander-in-Chief is totally and unbelievably absent.

The President of the United States is a deserter.

— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 16, 2021

President Joe Biden continued his summer vacation at Camp David, even while the Taliban toppled the U.S.-backed Afghan government and sent Americans and Afghan allies fleeing to the Kabul airport for rescue. The only word from the president over the weekend was a 600-word statement released Saturday, in which he blamed former President Donald Trump and doubled down on his decision to leave the country. A senior administration official indicated to reporters Sunday evening that Biden might address the country “in the next few days,” according to reports.

But after a day of silence from Biden, he is finally expected to return early from his trip to give remarks from the White House at 3:45 p.m. ET. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was reportedly still on a vacation of her own this weekend.

U.S. allies are questioning the strength of America because of Biden’s failure to defend Afghanistan from the Taliban, according to the Washington Post. Notably, both the United Nations and the Department of State are set to address the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan before Biden.

On Sunday, local media began reporting that the Afghan government was handing the country over to the Taliban, which ruled the country before the U.S. invasion in 2001. The Taliban’s jihadi leaders have ties to al-Qaeda, the international jihadist organization responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that prompted the American invasion. The terrorist group allegedly seized at least 85 percent of the country between May 1 and this month. More recently, the Taliban reportedly appropriated U.S. military equipment left behind by Afghan soldiers.

After two decades and more than 2,500 U.S. soldiers killed, former President Donald Trump agreed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, in a negotiation with the Taliban. In exchange, the Taliban agreed to not attack U.S. troops and to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.

Biden announced in April he would not abide by the agreement and extended the Afghan war by four months, making the new withdrawal date the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He then revised the date, announcing American military presence would end on August 31.

Biden ordered the deployment of another 6,000 troops into Afghanistan this weekend and 1,000 more on Monday, for a total of 7,000, jeopardizing the August 31 withdrawal deadline.

Katherine Hamilton