President Joe Biden concluded his news conference on Thursday by igniting a back-and-forth with Fox News’s Peter Doocy, whose questions left Mr Biden resting his head on his hands in an apparently exasperated manner.
Speaking to reporters after delivering an address in the afternoon following an Isis-k attack in Kabul that killed 13 US service members, including 11 Marines and a Navy medic, Mr Biden battled Doocy’s assertion that he was squarely to blame for the chaos in Afghanistan, while pointing to the agreement inked by the Trump administration with the Taliban.
During the exchange, he argued that Doocy knew, and was refusing to include in his reporting, that attacks on US personnel had merely ceased last year due to a promise by the then-US administration to leave Afghanistan by 1 May.
"I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that happened of late. But here's the deal: you know, I wish you one day say these things, you know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban,” said Mr Biden, before Doocy’s response provoked the gesture.
“You know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban, that he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1. In return ... he was given a commitment that the Taliban would continue to attack others, but would not attack any American forces,” the president added.
Part of Doocy’s response was not picked up by pool microphones, but the Fox reporter added after Mr Biden made the gesture: “Do you think people have an issue with not pulling out of Afghanistan but the way things have happened?”
The exchange led to conservatives on Twitter cheering Doocy and claiming that Mr Biden had instead been withered by the Fox reporter’s line of questioning.
During his address on Thursday, Mr Biden said that US evacuations would continue while adding that he had instructed the Pentagon to draw up plans for strikes agains Isis-k personnel and assets.
The series of blasts in Kabul were believed to have killed at least 60 Afghan civilians, and scores of others wounded.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies