Friday, September 10, 2021

TWH Spox Has Tense Exchange With Fox Reporter

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki got into a tense exchange with a Fox News reporter on Thursday over a White House statement praising the Taliban as 'flexible' and businesslike' for allowing an evacuation flight from Kabul to Doha with Americans on board, reports The Daily Mail..   

'You're saying the Taliban is businesslike and professional. Their interior minister has an FBI wanted poster - he's got a $10 million bounty on his head. What's the business?' Fox reporter Peter Doocy asked Psaki at her daily briefing. 

He held a copy of the FBI poster, displaying it just feet away from Psaki's podium.

'We are here to celebrate the return of American citizens who wanted to leave Afghanistan, of legal permanent residents, of Afghans who fought by our side, to Qatar successfully on a Qatari Airlines flight,' she replied.

'In order to get those people out, we had to work with some members of the Taliban to press them and to work in a businesslike manner to get them out.' 

A US-brokered deal with the Taliban enabled 30 Americans to escape Afghanistan on Thursday aboard an international flight carrying 200 passengers from Kabul Airport to Qatar, the first such large-scale departure since US and foreign forces concluded their frantic withdrawal at the end of August. 

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council praised the militant group for allowing the flight to leave.

'The Taliban have been cooperative in facilitating the departure of American citizens and lawful permanent residents on charter flights,' spokeswoman Emily Horne said. 'They have shown flexibility, and they have been businesslike and professional in our dealings with them in this effort. This is a positive first step.'

At the Thursday briefing Doocy asked what it was a 'first step' toward.

'Towards getting additional people out who want to leave Afghanistan,' Psaki finished before abruptly calling on another reporter.

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