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President Joe Biden refused to address the Afghanistan crisis Sunday when asked about the ongoing critical situation following a briefing that addressed Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana earlier on Sunday, and is expected to cause catastrophic damage to the Gulf Coast as the second most intense hurricane to ever make landfall in the Bayou State.
Following a briefing at FEMA headquarters, Biden called on a reporter after stating, “I’m not supposed to take any questions.”
The reporter, whom Biden directed to ask a question, began to ask about the Afghanistan crisis, but before she could complete her sentence, Biden cut her off, smacked the lectern, and walked away.
“Mr. President, on Afghanistan—” the reporter said before being cut off.
“I’m not going to answer Afghanistan now,” Biden said, interrupting the reporter and throwing his hand up. Biden then turned his back to the press and walked away.
Bloomberg senior White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs said she was the reporter who attempted to ask Biden about Afghanistan.
The incident happened one week after Vice President Kamala Harris made headlines for similarly cutting off a reporter who was trying to ask her about the Afghanistan crisis. To her credit, Harris began addressing the crisis several moments later.
Biden has generated fierce criticism over his public posture toward the Afghanistan crisis.
For example, just days after the fall of Kabul, Biden refused to take questions from reporters about the Afghanistan crisis, and at the time, the full-scale evacuation effort that was underway. Following a speech about the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden simply walked away.
Biden was criticized last week for doing essentially the same thing. Then, last Tuesday, Biden was more than four hours late for remarks on Afghanistan.
The White House, however, insisted that Biden has not been intentionally refusing to address the Afghanistan crisis.
“The president never shies away from taking questions,” White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield claimed.