Psaki scratched his head when asked to name Biden’s greatest foreign policy achievement

It was the kind of softball White House press secretaries dream of: an easy, undemanding request to describe President Joe Biden’s biggest foreign policy success of the year.

But when the year included a humiliating retreat from Afghanistan, a defense deal that cut off France’s key ally and Russian troops massing on the border with Ukraine, it must have looked like a ball of war. curve.

Which could be why Jen Psaki struggled to respond on Tuesday.

“What does the administration consider your greatest foreign policy achievement in this first year?” And also what lessons have you learned from what is arguably Afghanistan’s greatest failure, ”asked Patsy Widakuswara, a Voice of America reporter.

“You know, that’s a great question,” she said.

“I want to think about it. I want to talk to the president about it.

“And I’m happy to do it. “

White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not respond to a softball question on Tuesday. When asked to name President Biden’s biggest foreign policy achievement of the year, she said she should speak to the president and respond later.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan sparked a crush of Afghans trying to get to safety and flights from Kabul airport before US troops left the country in Taliban hands.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan sparked a crush of Afghans trying to get to safety and flights from Kabul airport before US troops left the country in Taliban hands.

The year ends with Biden facing yet another foreign policy crisis as Russian troops crowd the border with Ukraine and the president tries to unify the opposition in Moscow

The year ends with Biden facing yet another foreign policy crisis as Russian troops crowd the border with Ukraine and the president tries to unify the opposition in Moscow

Republicans expressed their joy at not naming a foreign policy success

Republicans expressed their joy at not naming a foreign policy success

The non-response was grabbed by critics on social media and a video clip was tweeted by the Republican National Committee – a sure sign of a briefing room blunder.

“How embarrassing,” wrote international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky in response.

“The White House spokesman cannot answer the simple question of what has been the Biden administration’s greatest foreign policy achievement.

“Or is it just possible that there isn’t?” “

Others returned Biden’s own words to the administration, noting that the president had called the withdrawal from Afghanistan “an extraordinary success.”

Much of Biden’s year has been spent in foreign policy – from the decision to leave Afghanistan to concerns that Russia is about to invade Ukraine.

Psaki bristled earlier in the briefing on issues relating to the fallout from leaving Afghanistan and the Americans still in the country.

“Let me just reiterate something Tony Blinken said in August, that if the Americans who are in Afghanistan wanted to leave, whether it’s three weeks, a month, two months – in August – we would help quit ‘they come out, she said.

“And that’s something we’ve kept our word. “

She said 479 U.S. citizens were helped to leave with 450 lawful permanent residents.

Fox News’s Peter Doocy went on to wonder how this fitted in with previous reports of 100 to 200 people being left behind, before asking if the president remains committed to getting people out.

On August 31, Biden called the withdrawal of

On August 31, Biden called the withdrawal “extraordinary success” a challenge.

“Certainly he receives regular updates from his team and the State Department and other national security officials are really leading this effort,” Psaki said before expressing his exasperation.

“The United States does not track or track American citizens traveling abroad, whether they are in Afghanistan or any country in the world.”

The departure of American troops continues to cast a shadow over the administration.

Some 13 servicemen died in the final days of the evacuation when an ISIS suicide bomber detonated explosives at Kabul airport, and chaotic scenes of refugees falling from departing planes provided the decisive image of the departure.

Yet Biden presented the hasty withdrawal, after the Taliban took over the capital, as a triumph.

“The extraordinary success of this mission is due to the incredible skill, bravery and selfless courage of the US military and our diplomats and intelligence professionals,” he said, announcing the end of the war. 20 years of the United States in the country.

But allies such as the UK have said they feel blinded by the hasty exit and fear rivals such as Russia and China will feel weakness in Washington.

The Biden administration had to launch a charm offensive in response to yet another controversy, when a defense deal with the UK and Australia saw the Australian government abandon a deal for French submarines in favor of American technology.

The aggrieved French ministers accused Biden of following the path laid out by former President Donald Trump in letting down his allies.

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