Blinken pressed on allegation Biden told Afghan President Ghani to lie about the war

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was pressed to comment on President Biden’s last call with Afghan President Mohammad Ghani after reports alleged that the president pressured his Afghan counterpart to lie about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan over the summer.

“I’m obviously not going to comment on leaked, purportedly leaked, transcripts of phone calls,” Blinken said in response to Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who questioned Blinken on whether he agreed with Biden’s handling of the phone call during the Monday hearing. “What the president said in that conversation with then-President Ghani is exactly what he was saying to in public.”

Blinken added that Biden said the “issue is not the capacity” of the “Afghan government and the Afghan security forces,” but whether they had the “will, and whether they had a plan” to hold important parts of the country.

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The secretary of state also said the administration was “concerned” they were not demonstrating the will or a plan and also stressed that Ghani needed to “bring people together.”

Pressed again by the New Jersey Republican to comment on whether the leaked transcript was true, Blinken still refused to answer.

“Again,

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