WASHINGTON, D.C. — US Representative August Pfluger, (R, TX), yesterday called on President Joe Biden to release “full, unedited, and unredacted transcripts” of a phone call that reportedly took place between the president and former Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani on July 23.
A letter, signed by Pfluger and 26 other lawmakers, calls the exchange “damning” and says it “further erodes your credibility and the confidence of the American people in your ability to lead.”
The phone call between President Biden and Ghani was revealed in a Reuters report, published on Tuesday, August 31. The report, in which Reuters claims to have reviewed the roughly 14-minute phone call between the leaders, suggests Biden offered continued air support in the Afghan military’s fight against the Taliban that was dependent on whether the Afghan leader could “project a different picture”.
““We will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is,” the report claims Biden said in the phone call.
““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,” said Biden, according to the report. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
“In the period leading up to the withdrawal, your administration made a series of false assurances to the American people and our allies regarding the situation on the ground,” the letter says. “The contrast between your Administration’s official spin and the reality on the ground revealed a bewildering lack of coherence, strategy, and fundamental transparency.”
“It appeared repeatedly as if your Administration was engaging in a deliberate effort to conceal the truth and mislead the American public.”
The letter goes on to request the Biden Administration to release transcripts of the call “so Congress can determine the degree to which you may have deliberately misled the American people leading up to and during this disastrously executed operation.”
“Congress has a duty to oversee the Executive,” the letter concludes, “The American people deserve answers and clarity. We urge that your administration expeditiously releases the full transcripts of the call.”