In response to the chaotic events unfolding in response to the United States' continued withdrawal from Afghanistan, CNN's Clarissa Ward is questioning President Joe Biden's statement that it was not a failure.
"… It's the panic, the lack of clear information, the rumor mill is in overdrive. There's hysteria. You have Taliban fighters with whips, with guns," said Ward, who has been reporting from Kabul, the capital city taken over by the Taliban on Sunday.
"You have US and UK soldiers who are not allowing people in. You have mixed messaging coming through about what kind of paperwork you need and how you can get on a flight and where you can go."
"It is just an absolute mess. And we heard President Biden say yesterday in his comments to ABC News that this is not a failure, and I think a lot of people outside that airport, particularly those taking the kinds of extreme actions we were just talking about would like to know: if this isn't failure, what does failure look like exactly?" Ward asked.
In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopolous, Biden defended the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its aftermath, saying that it was impossible to withdraw "without chaos ensuing."
During the interview, Stephanopoulos asked Biden whether he thought the withdrawal could have been handled better, to which Biden responded "no."
"We're gonna go back in hindsight and look … but the idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens," said Biden.
In July, Biden had reportedly said that it was "highly unlikely" that the Taliban would be "over running everything and owning the whole country."
Despite these previous comments, Biden told George Stephanopoulos that the intelligence briefings did not bring a consensus and "the intelligence did not [say] back in June or July that it was going to collapse like it did."