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• A reporter did ask Biden about reports that his administration gave the Taliban a list of evacuating American and Afghan officials during an Aug. 26 public appearance. However, the exchange didn’t take place as described in the post, and news footage of the event doesn’t shut off as he responds.
An image posted to a range of social media platforms claims that news cameras shut off just as President Joe Biden was asked about reports that his administration had given a list of evacuating American and Afghan officials to the Taliban.
The image, which was posted to Facebook and TikTok, takes the form of a Snapchat screenshot of a man giving a thumbs-up. Text is superimposed over the image:
"In a press conference about the (Aug. 26 Kabul Airport bombing) a reporter asked Biden if he thought it was a ‘predetermined’ attack and he said ‘no we gave them a list of Americans and Afghans that are still there,’" it reads. "And then another reporter said ‘so you gave them a hit list?’ And then the cameras shut off and it went black."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Biden did field questions from the press on Aug. 26 after a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killed around 170 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. troops. Terror group ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, the exchange didn’t take place as described in the image, and video from the briefing doesn’t suddenly cut out as Biden responds.
CNBC has posted the full footage of Biden’s Aug. 26 briefing. At one point, a journalist does ask Biden about reports that U.S. officials provided the Taliban with names of American and Afghan officials the administration was trying to evacuate. Video of the briefing continues to roll as Biden responds:
"There have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said, ‘This…’ — for example, ‘This bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through.’ So, yes, there have been occasions like that. And to the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred — they’ve been let through. But I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names. I don’t — there may have been, but I know of no circumstance. It doesn’t mean it’s not — it didn’t exist, that, ‘Here’s the names of 12 people; they’re coming. Let them through.’ It could very well have happened.
At no point in the briefing does a reporter ask Biden if he thought the attacks were "predetermined." Nor does any reporter chime in asking Biden about a "hit list."
The White House also provided a full transcript of Biden’s Aug. 26 remarks, which correspond with what he said in the CNBC video.
Facebook posts said that news cameras "shut off" just as Biden was asked if he gave the Taliban a "hit list" of evacuating American and Afghan officials.
Biden did field questions about allegations that his administration gave a list of evacuating American and Afghan officials to the Taliban. However, the exchange didn’t take place as described, and news footage of the appearance doesn’t cut out.
We rate the statement False.
Facebook post, Aug. 26, 2021
New York Times, Suicide bombers in Kabul kill dozens, including 13 U.S. troops, Aug. 26, 2021
CNBC, President Biden delivers remarks after deadly Kabul attack, Aug. 26, 2021
Whitehouse.gov, Remarks by President Biden on the terror attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Aug. 26, 2021
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