CBS Reporter Blows Up John Kirby Over Afghanistan Report

CBS White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe put the screws to retired Admiral John Kirby during a Thursday briefing, pressing him on the administration’s decision to release a long-awaited assessment of the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal just before a holiday weekend.

Kirby, who is currently serving as the strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council, claimed that the timing of the report was coincidental and that the multiple agencies that had worked to compile the report had just happened to get it together at this specific time.

Noting that the information had been requested months earlier, O’Keefe pointed out that reporters had only received it 10 minutes before the briefing that preceded the Easter holiday. “Why today? Is this all we get? Is this a response to the studies that were done by the agencies or is this considered a summary?” he asked, calling the move “the very definition of a modern major holiday news dump.”


John Kirby to CBS’s @EdOKeefe on the WH dumping their Afghanistan withdrawal report ahead of a holiday weekend: “This is the result of months & months of work by individual agencies…to voluntarily review that withdrawal…No effort here to…obfuscate or…bury something”

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 6, 2023

“This is the result of months and months of work by individual agencies,” Kirby objected, explaining that the full reports from those agencies were classified and that the Biden administration had put together the assessment that was sent out to reporters and leaders on Capitol Hill.

O’Keefe continued to press, however, noting that according to the administration’s assessment, President Biden had “received and accepted the unanimous advice of his top national security officials to end the evacuation on August 31.”

“What is the definition of a top national security official, because we know for example General McKenzie, who was then head of CentCom, said he objected to aspects of this,” O’Keefe asked.

Kirby pushed back, saying that he was “loath” to address specific bits of advice that Biden may or may not have gotten from individual advisors.



CBS’s @EdOKeefe: “There’s 4 pgs of blame on the [Trump] administration…Nowhere…does there appear to be any expression of accountability or mistake by either [Biden] or others. Is there any”?

“Kirby: “I would argue that…we…decided to go conduct after-action reviews…”

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 6, 2023

O’Keefe concluded with the observation that the Biden administration’s assessment included four pages of blame leveled at the previous administration — and no real admission of accountability from the Biden White House.

“Nowhere in here does there appear to be any expression of accountability or mistake by either the president himself or others. Is there any for what happened?” he asked.

Skirting the direct question regarding whether or not Biden would hold himself accountable, Kirby claimed that the agencies doing voluntary after-action reviews — rather than waiting until they were forced to do so by Congress — was proof that they were holding themselves to account.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Generated by Feedzy