Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

‘I want to talk about happy things’: Biden cuts off questions on Afghanistan

‘There’s great things happening’

Chantal da Silva
Friday 02 July 2021 20:56 BST
Joe Biden refuses to answer questions on Afghanistan
Leer en Español

President Joe Biden cut off reporters on Friday after being questioned about the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, saying he would rather talk about “happy things”.

The president had sought to tout a strong employment report released on Friday, but instead faced questions on fears that the situation in Afghanistan could unravel into civil war amid the exit of American troops.

Mr Biden, who met with Afghan leaders last week, said he did not want to take “negative” questions and would rather focus on the Fourth of July weekend.

“I want to talk about happy things, man” he said after being asked repeatedly about Afghanistan during a press conference to celebrate last month’s job growth.

Asked a fourth time about Afghanistan, Mr Biden said: “I’m not gonna answer any more questions on Afghanistan... it’s Fourth of July [weekend].”

The president said he would answer questions on less “happy” affairs next week.

“You guys are asking me questions that I’ll answer next week. But this is a holiday weekend” he said. “I’m going to celebrate it. There’s great things happening.”

Touting June’s job growth, Mr Biden said: “The economy’s growing faster than anytime in 40 years, we’ve got a record number of new jobs”.

He also noted that “Covid deaths are down 90%,” while “wages are up faster than anytime in 15 years”.

“We’re bringing out our bring our troops home, we have all across America people are going to ballgames and doing good things,” he said.

The president said he would “answer all of your negative questions, not negative - your legitimate questions” next week after the Fourth of July weekend.

Mr Biden had announced plans in April for US troops to be out of Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the US invasion following the 9/11 terror attacks.

However, as US troops move out, the Taliban has claimed to have captured more than 100 of over 400 districts across the country.

Mr Biden said on Friday that he believes Afghanistan will be able to “sustain a government” in the event of a heightened Taliban assault after US troops exit.

Asked about the US Air Force supporting Afghanistan, he said “we can be value-added but the Afghans are going to have to be able to do it themselves with the air force they have.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in