White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday used Fox News reporter Peter Doocy to communicate exactly what the Biden administration is doing to get Americans and our Afghan allies, and all their families, out of that country in what she declared will be “the largest airlift” in U.S. history.
.@WHPressSec: “I would say that this is now on track to be largest airlift in U.S. history … I would not say that is anything but a success.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 24, 2021
Doocy claimed a U.S. citizen he called “Fatima” had contacted him claiming she is “stranded” at home somewhere outside of the boundaries of the Kabul airport, and blamed the administration for not getting her out.
Psaki urged Doocy to give her Fatima’s contact information so she could help ensure she is able to leave.
She also took the opportunity to tell the American people “exactly what we are doing,” and reminded him that the U.S. Dept. of State “for months…has been telling Americans to leave Afghanistan for their own safety.”
“We are committed to bringing Americans home, who want to leave, and that is the President’s commitment,” Psaki explained. “So let me explain to you how our process works and there have been some very good questions including from you and from others,” she graciously offered.
“We’re working hour by hour,” she added to determine exactly how many Americans are in Afghanistan, saying, “I understand your desire and interest in having an exact number of American citizens on the ground, and the State Department expects we’ll have an exact update on that tomorrow.”
“Just to remind you, the U.S. government does not track our citizens when they travel around the world. We rely on self reporting, not just in Afghanistan, anywhere in the world, people have to decide to register or not, it’s up to them, individuals whether they decide to register or not, wherever they may be. And if you register. When you’re in a country like Afghanistan, you aren’t required to deregister. The State Department also issues alerts, they have publicized phone number and email to contact if you’re in Afghanistan and want assistance to leave, and for months, the department has been telling Americans to leave Afghanistan for their own safety.”
But she made clear the administration is taking full responsibility to get every American out.
“It is our responsibility and our role to work with and help American citizens who want to leave,” she said. “In recent days, they have reached out to every American citizen registered in Afghanistan directly multiple times. This is a 24/7 operation, embassies all over the world are supporting phone banking, text banking, and email efforts.”
And then she offered to help Doocy’s contact.
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki on identifying and evacuating remaining Americans from Afghanistan:
“If any of you are hearing from American citizens who can’t reach us, give me their contact information, and we will get in contact with them.” pic.twitter.com/xeiYHlHaWR
— The Recount (@therecount) August 24, 2021
“If we are not in touch with this individual, give me their contact information and we will get in touch with them. If any of you are hearing from American citizens who can’t reach us, give me their contact information, and we will get in contact with them, our estimate of the overall number of American citizens who are there can increase because folks are just now responding to our outreach who may not have registered. It can also decrease because people leave, they don’t tell us they leave, or individuals who may reach out and convey, they, they have the documentation needed, don’t. So there are a range of factors here and it’s our responsibility to give you accurate information, that’s what our focus is to say no Americans are stranded.”
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FBI Investigating Five Power Substations Attacked in Pacific Northwest in Strikes Similar to North Carolina
The FBI is investigating at least five attacks on electricity substations in the Pacific northwest similar to one that caused widespread power outages in North Carolina.
Representatives from Puget Sound Energy, the Cowlitz County Public Utility District and Bonneville Power Administration confirmed the attacks took place in November, although the FBI declined to confirm the investigations and it’s not clear whether any of the damage resulted in service disruptions, reported the Seattle Times.
“BPA is actively cooperating with the FBI on this incident and has encouraged other utilities throughout the region to increase their vigilance and report any suspicious or similar activity to law enforcement,” said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for BPA.
Johnson declined to give details about the equipment that was damaged, but he said a “deliberate physical attack” at a Clackamas, Oregon, substation damaged a fence and equipment over the Thanksgiving holiday.
A spokesman said two Puget Sound Energy substations were damaged last month but declined to provide details, and a spokeswoman said two Cowlitz County Public Utility District substations in Woodland, Washington, were damaged by vandals in mid-November but have since been repaired.
‘Getting Our Clocks Cleaned’: Former Adviser Admits Trump’s Candidates All Got ‘Slaughtered’
The morning after another one of Donald Trump’s high-profile hand-picked candidates lost — this time in a Georgia run-off for a U.S. Senate seat — a former adviser to the ex-president admitted the Republican Party can’t handle any more losses by following Trump’s lead because they are getting “slaughtered.”
Sitting in on a “CNN This Morning” panel, GOP campaign adviser David Urban also said Trump and the Republican party’s aversion to mail-in voting is a primary reason “we’re getting our clocks cleaned.”
Speaking with hosts Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon, Urban explained, “It was the president of the United States saying don’t vote by mail, you can’t trust it. Now Republicans are getting their clocks cleaned in early voting, right? We are getting destroyed by mail-in and early voting.”
“Listen, as you guys know, when you vote by mail you can see the votes come in, if you vote incorrectly you can cure it, you can see who didn’t turn out,” he elaborated. “Democrats have built an incredible machine that can do this, who’s come out, didn’t come out. Republicans wait until election day to vote, so the former president got that completely wrong and we need to really focus on this.”
Continuing in that vein he added, “John Avlon, the hour before this said as long as trump wraps up about 35% of the party, you can’t look across that board and say we did well. Trump can’t wake up this morning and say I did okay — he lost everywhere; my home state in Pennsylvania, we got drubbed. So candidates matter, and candidate quality matters.”
“America sorry you’re waking up to this, but Donald Trump is still the dominant force in the Republican Party, this morning, tomorrow morning, and he’s most likely the nominee and stands as a fact to be the next president again,” he added. “Donald Trump stands a very good chance of being president of the United States despite the Walker loss, the senate candidates going down because they’re the ride-or-die Trumpers with him until the end.”
Image via Shutterstock
Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority
Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.
Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.
The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.
An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.
Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.
Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”
With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.
The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”
The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.
Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”
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