Ben Sasse Blasts Biden 'Falsehoods' on Afghanistan, Calls Withdrawal Deadline 'Stupid'

Senator Ben Sasse blasted President Joe Biden on Sunday over the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Nebraska Republican listed "shameful falsehood after shameful falsehood" the commander-in-chief said about the situation in recent days.

The Biden administration, as well as the previous administration of former President Donald Trump, have faced substantial criticism over the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan as the Taliban swiftly retook control of the country this month. Although Biden is overseeing the withdrawal, the peace deal with the Taliban was signed in February 2020 during Trump's tenure in the White House. Sasse addressed the unfolding situation on Fox News Sunday.

"We have a national security crisis. It's ongoing. We have a lot of Americans in harm's way. We have a lot of people we made promises to beyond the wire at the airport. And you heard the president say just shameful falsehood after shameful falsehood this week," Sasse told anchor Chris Wallace. The GOP lawmaker went on to list those inaccurate statements.

Ben Sasse
Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) said Sunday that President Joe Biden had repeated "shameful falsehood after shameful falsehood" about Afghanistan in recent days. Above, Sasse speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on April 27. AL DRAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"When he said Americans aren't having trouble at the checkpoints, that's not true. When they said they didn't have intelligence that this was gonna happen, that's not true. When they said Al Qaeda was dead, that's not true. When they said they had contingency plans, that's not true," the senator from Nebraska asserted.

"There's a lot more we have to do. We have a lot of people in danger right now," Sasse said.

The Republican lawmaker said that Biden needs to "step up" as commander-in-chief. He was critical of the August 31 deadline Biden previously set to complete the full troop withdrawal. "August 31 was a stupid, arbitrary, politically driven deadline," Sasse said. "The Taliban needs to know they don't dictate the timetable on American lives."

As Sasse explained, Biden made a series of apparently inaccurate statements regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

The president told reporters on Friday that "to the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints—they are letting through people showing American passports." But reports have indicated that some Americans have had issues getting through those checkpoints, and a State Department spokesperson later confirmed that fact on Friday.

Back in early July, Biden was dismissive of reporters' questions about intelligence reports suggesting that Afghanistan would quickly fall to the Taliban as the U.S. withdrew. "That is not true. They did not—they didn't—did not reach that conclusion," Biden insisted during a July 8 press conference when a reporter asked about intelligence reports predicting the Taliban taking back control.

On Friday, Biden also asserted that Al Qaeda was "gone" from Afghanistan, saying the U.S. had achieved its objectives in the country. But a summer report from the United Nations explained that Al Qaeda is still active in nearly half of Afghanistan's provinces. Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted to Fox News Sunday prior to Sasse's interview that there were still Al Qaeda members within the country.

The peace deal with the Taliban was signed during Trump's tenure in the White House in February 2020. That agreement set a withdrawal deadline of May 1. After Biden took office, he pushed that date back to September 11 and then moved it forward to August 31. But the Taliban retook nearly total control of the country last Sunday—two weeks before Biden's withdrawal deadline.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not immediately receive a response.