- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 26, 2021

The White House on Thursday said President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were being briefed on the fast-moving chaos in Afghanistan as bomb blasts roiled evacuations from Kabul and upended schedules in Washington.

The blasts that killed at least 13 and left dozens wounded occurred around the time Mr. Biden met with top military leaders for an update on the situation that is roiling his presidency.

The White House said Mr. Biden met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, “and commanders on the ground.”

“He will continue to be briefed on updates on the evolving situation throughout the day,” the statement said.

It was not clear if and when Mr. Biden would appear in public, as reporters also waited to hear from the Pentagon.

Mr. Biden’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was delayed, putting the bilateral in limbo, and the White House scrapped his mid-afternoon meeting with governors on the Afghanistan situation.

Ms. Harris was on a video feed for the morning meeting in the Situation Room as she traveled back from a tour of Southeast Asia. She had an afternoon layover in Guam on her way to Hawaii for an event at Pearl Harbor

“The vice president has been briefed on the situation in Kabul, and she will continue to be updated,” a White House official told reporters.

A White House COVID-19 briefing was postponed shortly after the reports of the explosions, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki put off her regular daily briefing at noon.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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