President Joe Biden on Friday rejected criticism of his handling of the chaotic U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and warned that the operation to evacuate thousands through Kabul airport carries risks, while promising Americans "we will get you home."
BIDEN: "Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces, and it's being conducted under difficult circumstances. I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or that it will be without risk of loss. But as commander in chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary."
Biden also vowed to get out as many Afghan allies as possible, many of whom are facing difficulties getting past Taliban checkpoints to the Kabul airport for evacuation flights.
A report compiled by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses and seen by Reuters found the Taliban have begun rounding up Afghans on a blacklist of people they believe have worked in key roles with the previous Afghan administration or with U.S.-led forces that supported it.
The United States is desperately trying to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan by an Aug. 31 deadline - though Biden said this week that U.S. troops at the airport could stay longer if necessary.
The White House has promised a review of the administration's performance in the crisis, but a source said this has been set aside for now while attention is paid to the evacuations.