President Joe Biden was criticized when he was spotted traveling to Delaware for the holiday weekend amid the crisis in Afghanistan.
After witnessing the devastation of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, Biden flew to his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
American citizens and allies have been left behind in the Taliban controlled land.
The president was scheduled to visit Delaware two weeks ago but had his trip pushed back due to the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Hurricane Henri.
Republicans were quick to criticize the president for flying home in the midst of the crisis in Afghanistan due to the botched withdrawal and evacuation from the country.
President Joe Biden flew from Louisiana to his home state of Delaware on Friday. (Pictured: Biden arrives at Delaware Air National Guard, in New Castle, Delaware on Air Force One Friday, September 3 after traveling to Louisiana to view damage caused by Hurricane Ida)
He headed to Wilmington, Delaware to spend the weekend at his private residence. (Pictured: Biden steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 3)
Biden had originally been scheduled to visit Delaware two weeks ago but delayed the trip due to the ongoing withdrawal from Afghanistan. (Pictured: Biden salutes the military while disembarking from Air Force One at Philadelphia International Airport on September 3)
Biden has been criticized by Republicans for traveling to Delaware amid the crisis in Afghanistan. (Pictured: President Biden and the first lady walk between tombstones as they leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware September 4)
Republicans took to Twitter to voice their condemnation of Biden’s Labor Day weekend trip. (Pictured: The Bidens leave Mass on Saturday at Brandywine Catholic Church September 4)
Biden visited Louisiana on Friday to see the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ida before taking off to Delaware. (Pictured: Joe Biden leaving Mass in a navy blue suit and bright red tie with Jill Biden wearing a long black dress embellished with white flowers carrying an orange clutch on September 4)
Along with the situation in Afghanistan, Biden is also working to solve other major issues including the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and the influx of migrants at the southern border. (Pictured: The Bidens holding hands as they walk through the tombstones at Brandywine church on September 4)
The Pentagon has confirmed that they are aware of hundreds of Americans who were left behind in Afghanistan. (Pictured: The president and first lady arrive for Saturday Mass in Wilmington on September 4)
Biden has continued to defend the withdrawal and evacuation of the US from Afghanistan calling the mission an ‘extraordinary success.’ (Pictured: Joe and Jill Biden walk into Brandywine Catholic Church during their weekend visit to Delaware September 4)
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tweeted: ‘American citizens are still stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, and meanwhile Joe Biden is vacationing in Delaware.’
‘Joe Biden left Americans hostage in Afghanistan. No speech, press release, or Biden family vacation in Delaware can change that.’
Alabama Representative Mo Brooks also pointed to the Americans who were left behind. He tweeted: ‘Joe Biden will be spending his weekend on vacation in Delaware. Roughly 100 Americans will be spending their weekend abandoned in Afghanistan.’
New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney denounced Biden’s trip home while calling for him to be held accountable for the $85 billion of military equipment that was left behind in Afghanistan.
She posted: ‘Joe Biden is a career politician who’s only ever worked in D.C. For the rest of us, we are responsible for the equipment we use at work. If we lose it, we pay for it. Biden lost $85 billion in military equipment and then left for vacation. Congress must hold him accountable!’
Republicans also mentioned other issues that the country is facing including migrants at the US-Mexico border and the residents of New Orleans who are still left without power.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tweeted his discontent with Biden’s trip home amid the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan
Meadows pointed to the Americans left in Afghanistan in his tweeting calling out the president for his holiday weekend trip to Delaware
Alabama Representative Mo Brooks criticized Biden’s trip home for the Labor Day weekend while American citizens and allies are stranded in Afghanistan
New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney condemned Biden’s trip to Delaware calling for Congress to hold him accountable for the $85 billion of military equipment that was left in Afghanistan
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House deputy press secretary, said on Friday that Biden was dealing with ‘different multiple crises.’
‘But […] this is the role of the president, right? To make sure that we keep working. We have addressed multiple crises at the same time,’ she said.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans accused the White House of evacuating thousands of Afghans from the country while leaving American citizens and allies behind.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted that up to 200 Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan even though the last US flight left the country a day before the evacuation deadline.
‘We believe there are still a small number of Americans, under 200 and likely closer to 100, who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave,’ he said in a speech at the State Department Monday night – with remarks delayed for more than two hours.
The number was somewhat lower than estimates in the final hours as the Biden administration’s troop withdrawal deadline approached.
He said ‘about’ 6,000 Americans had been flown out of the country or departed in an airlift of 123,000 people.
‘A new chapter of engagement with Afghanistan has begun,’ the nation’s top diplomat proclaimed.
‘The military mission is over. A new diplomatic mission has begun,’ he proclaimed.
But he vowed to use diplomacy and leverage to bring out any Americans, allies, or Afghanis who assisted the US and want to leave, as critics pounded Biden for allowing the withdrawal before all Americans were out, comparing those who remained to hostages.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised a ‘new chapter’ of diplomacy in Afghanistan, and vowed to continue the evacuation of Americans and allies in the country
The Pentagon announced that the last American troops had left Kabul airport almost 24 hours ahead of schedule on Monday afternoon. (Pictured:Taliban fighters wave as they patrol in a convoy along a street in Kabul on September 2)
Biden has been criticized for setting the August 31 evacuation deadline which left many American citizens and allies in Afghanistan. (Pictured: Taliban supporters gather to celebrate the US withdrawal of all its troops out of Afghanistan, in Kandahar on September 1)
‘We made extraordinary efforts to give Americans every opportunity to depart the country,’ he said.
Blinken said some who stayed were dual citizens and US passports who weren’t sure they wanted to go and were ‘trying to decide whether or not they wanted to leave.’
He said the US and allies plan to hold the Taliban to keep the airport open and allow safe passage. ‘Any engagement with the Taliban-led government in Kabul will be driven by one thing only – our vital national interests,’ he said.
He also mentioned new ways out – including ‘overland routes,’ which means driving across Afghanistan’s famously inhospitable terrain.
This could involve driving east toward Pakistan – the same areas many Taliban members used to find sanctuary during the 20-year U.S. led war that came to a close a minute before midnight in Kabul.
‘We’re also working to identify ways to support Americans , legal permanent residents, and Afghans who have worked with us who may choose to depart via overland routes,’ he said.
‘We have no illusion that any of this will be easy or rapid,’ Blinken said, calling it an ‘entirely different phase of the evacuation.’
‘We will hold the Taliban to their commitment on freedom of movement,’ he said – on a day when US forces departed the airport in Kabul, leaving it intact, while scuttling aircraft that were left behind.
The Pentagon announced on Monday afternoon that the last American troops had left Kabul airport almost 24 hours ahead of schedule, ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan after 20 years and the deaths of almost 2500 troops.
Witnesses in Kabul said the Taliban let off celebratory gunfire as news circulated that the final U.S. flight had left.