The White House has announced that President Biden has spoken to Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson — the first world leader he’s engaged with since Kabul fell — as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reveals he consulted with Hillary Clinton on Afghanistan efforts.
Biden, who has returned to the White House from his vacation at Camp David a day earlier than planned, had a call with Johnson on Tuesday night regarding the situation in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
The call came just hours after it was revealed that Biden hadn’t spoken to any world leaders some 48 hours after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.
“He has not yet spoken with any other world leaders,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a briefing earlier Tuesday.
The White House issued a statement hours later saying Biden and Johnson had spoken and agreed to hold a virtual G7 leaders’ meeting next week to hash out an allied strategy.
“They commended the bravery and professionalism of their military and civilian personnel, who are working shoulder to shoulder in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens and Afghan nationals who assisted in the war effort,” the White House statement said.
“They also discussed the need for continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan policy going forward, including ways the global community can provide further humanitarian assistance and support for refugees and other vulnerable Afghans.”
Prior to that, Trudeau said he had consulted with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday night — just 24 hours after Kabul fell.
Trudeau told reporters Tuesday that Clinton shared Canada’s “concern for Afghan women and girls.”
News of Trudeau’s phone call with Clinton sparked criticism from conservatives who questioned why Clinton was engaging with world leaders and not Biden.
“Yesterday, the White House said that Joe Biden has not taken any calls with world leaders in regards to Afghanistan. Justin Trudeau stated that he spoke with Hillary Clinton yesterday about Afghanistan. What is going on? Why is the US President not taking calls but Hillary is?,” GOP strategist Amy Tarkanian tweeted.
“While the Biden admin admitted he hadn’t spoken to any other world leaders, Justin Trudeau turned to… Hillary Clinton? I guess if there’s one person who really knows about failed foreign policy leaving Americans stranded in hostile territory it’s her,” Matt Whitlock tweeted.
Conservative Canadian journalist Ezra Levant tweeted: “Trudeau consulted with Hillary Clinton about Afghanistan. Why would he talk to HER? Did no-one in the Biden administration take his phone calls? So weird. Maybe she can give him some hard lessons from Benghazi that we can avoid in Kabul.”