The White House revealed President Joe Biden has not spoken with world leaders since the Taliban took control of Kabul, the capitol city of Afghanistan.
“He has not yet spoken with any other world leaders,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during a press briefing Tuesday.
Sullivan said he, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and senior members of the White House were engaged with their foreign counterparts throughout the crisis.
“Right now, the main issue is an operational issue,” Sullivan said, noting the administration would continue working with other countries to evacuate their citizens from Afghanistan.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also defended the president not making calls to world leaders, noting that the president’s focus remained on “operational efforts” in Afghanistan, adding that it “includes coordination at a lower level than leaders and heads of state.”
Sullivan defended Biden’s handling of the crisis while on vacation at Camp David.
“The president worked throughout the entire weekend,” he said, insisting Biden was monitoring the crisis “hour by hour.”
Biden left the White House on Thursday for his home in Delaware and went to Camp David for the rest of the weekend as the Taliban swept through Afghanistan. He returned to the White House on Monday to address the Afghanistan crisis but left after his speech to return to Camp David the same day.
Sullivan said Biden was constantly questioning all of his foreign policy aides promising them to get them everything they needed, even though he was at Camp David.
“President Biden has been deeply engaged with this,” he added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that details about the president’s vacation were not finalized and was not able to confirm when he would return to the White House.