President Joe Biden tried to spin the failures in Afghanistan as successes and bring in Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani as part of the facade, according to leaked audio reported by Reuters, via the New York Post.
Per the report, Biden attempted to coax Ghani to help “create the ‘perception’ that the Taliban weren’t winning, ‘whether it’s true or not,’ in a phone call just three weeks before the insurgents seized control of the country, a bombshell leaked transcript shows.”
The audio revealed that Biden spoke to Ghani for nearly 14 minutes on July 23 — marking their final conversation before the Taliban overran Afghanistan’s government following a bungled withdrawal by the U.S.
“I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden told Ghani, per the transcribed audio. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
Unbeknownst to Biden and Ghani, the Taliban were only a couple weeks away from taking Kabul, which they accomplished Aug. 15. They had already seized about half of Afghanistan’s district centers.
So Biden’s spin job started early.
“I’m not a military guy, so I’m not telling you what that plan should precisely look like, you’re going to get not only more help, but you’re going to get a perception that is going to change in terms of how , um … our allies and folks here in the States and other places think you’re doing,” Biden told Ghani.
The White House has refused to address the call or Biden’s comments.
“In a readout of Biden and Ghani’s call, the White House only said at the time that the two leaders ‘discussed the situation in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring bilateral partnership,'” the Post noted.