Hegseth: Biden admin arguing semantics while Americans are 'at the whim of the people who facilitated 9/11'


President Biden has left Americans in Afghanistan beholden to the masterminds of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks while his spokeswoman is arguing semantics about terminology, "Fox & Friends" host Pete Hegseth said on Monday.

Hegseth and "Fox News Primetime" host Jesse Watters noted White House press secretary Jen Psaki debated Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy's use of the word "stranded" to describe Americans unable to escape Afghanistan due to Taliban checkpoints.

Psaki claimed "stranded" is an "irresponsible" term, and that Biden is "committed to bringing Americans who want to come home home."

Hegseth, who is a retired Army National Guard officer, ripped Biden's and his cabinet's claims Americans and U.S.-aligned individuals like interpreters can easily facilitate evacuation via text and email with the State Department.

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"Don't worry though. We are in touch via text and email and you could submit via the website but right now the guidance of the embassy which we abandoned and moved to the airport is the gates are closed. Don't try to get to the airport. Don't call us, maybe we will call you," he said. "And when we ask you to move, just find your way through those Taliban checkpoints where they're checking your passports or your visa application and they beat you when you try to get through or they don't want to let you through."

He added, "We are at the whim of our enemy: The people who facilitated the 9/11 attack now control which Americans are allowed to flee the country."

That assertion, he said, means that every American citizen or Afghan who is aligned with the United States is a "hostage" of the Taliban as well as a hostage to Biden's arbitrary August 31 deadline which Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen now agrees is a chronological "red line".

"We are calling the Taliban and asking permission—and not pushing out to secure a perimeter," he said, adding that a competent White House would "make it very clear if you harm a hair on the head of an American we're going to stack Taliban bodies. Give us 24 hours wide open. Every American, in you touch one, you die. It's not hard but we won't do it."

Watters called Psaki's comments propaganda, comparing her position to that of Muhammad al-Sahhaf, the former Ba'athist media and information minister in Iraq who continued to declare the Americans were losing badly to Saddam Hussein's forces in 2003 despite conditions on the ground:

"She sounds like ‘Baghdad Bob’ up there—‘Oh, we have Americans totally surrounded’—meanwhile tanks are rolling right through the capital. Stranded. This isn't like a layover. Americans can't go to the lounge and get a drink. If they weren't stranded, they would be home by now," he said.

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Later in the segment, retired U.S. Navy JAG officer Shawn Collins—who negotiated with the Taliban and survived two assassination attempts by militants—said Biden has put America and Americans in a very bad spot.

"The fact that we're currently groveling to the Taliban to get out of the country shows us how terribly wrong this withdrawal has gone. I can tell you first of all there is nothing good about the Taliban," Collins said. "I lived in Kandahar City. I actually lived a block over from where [Mujahideen fighter and ex-Taliban commander] Mullah Omar used to live."

He added that it appears the White House does not understand the true nature of the Taliban:

"My first interpreter when I was in Afghanistan was shot in the back of the head in the Bazaar because he worked with Americans. They sent a suicide bomber on to my compound and detonated him in a room full of people. They parked a Toyota Corolla outside of the gate of our compound and killed a lot of innocent women and children to get their point across. So, the fact that we are actually entertaining whether or not the Taliban are going to help us right now is laughable," he said.

"Because the Taliban, what they're going to do is they are going to try and dictate the terms. And right now we have a president that is allowing them to too that. And it has to stop."

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Watters noted that since the Taliban has now been able to raid Bagram Air Base and take custody billions of U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons, they now have the ability to carry out more sophisticated attacks. 

"With a couple billion in U.S. military hardware? It's not going to be a Toyota Carolla coming through, it's going to be a BlackHawk, it's going to be a Humvee," he predicted.