ABC is being called out for editing out portions of President Biden’s interview on the deadly chaos in Afghanistan where he made gaffes about his son Beau — the network included the lines in the transcript, but did not put them on air.
A day after Biden’s interview with George Stephanopoulos aired on Wednesday, ABC published the full transcript online.
Sections of the interview revealed in the full transcript, including a part where Biden mistakenly said his late son Beau served in Iraq with the Navy instead of the Army, and in Afghanistan, where he wasn’t deployed, were omitted from airing.
Asked to respond to a veteran saying he wished the US could have left Afghanistan with honor, Biden said: “Look, that’s like askin’ my deceased son Beau, who spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major – I mean, as an Army major. And, you know, I’m sure he had regrets comin’ out of Afghanistan– I mean, out of Iraq.
“He had regrets to what’s– how– how it’s going. But the idea– what’s the alternative? The alternative is why are we staying in Afghanistan? Why are we there? Don’t you think that the one– you know who’s most disappointed in us getting out? Russia and China.”
Beau was deployed to Iraq for a year in 2009 with the US Army Delaware Army National Guard.
Republican lawmakers are now demanding the ABC release the full footage of Biden’s interview.
Rep. Jim Banks, who is an Afghanistan veteran, tweeted: “@abc should release the tape now! American lives are at stake. America deserves to know if their Commander in Chief is up for the job.”
Fox News Tucker Carlson led the criticism against the ABC and Biden, accusing the outlet of editing the interview to avoid making the president seem “incoherent and confused.”
“Toward the end of his interview with ABC there was a telling exchange. That exchange was never broadcast on camera,” Carlson during his show on Thursday.
“Now television networks edit interviews very often for time. But ABC News appears to have edited out portions that made Joe Biden look – how to put it. Not presidential. Incoherent. Confused.”
Biden also made some inaccurate claims that were aired during his interview.
When he was asked about the “pandemonium” outside Kabul airport in recent days, Biden claimed during the interview – filmed on Wednesday afternoon – that “no one’s being killed right now.”
Officials said on Monday there had been five deaths amid the chaos at Kabul’s airport when thousands of Afghans rushed onto the tarmac to try and board US military planes. The officials updated that figure to 12 deaths on Thursday.
The deaths near Kabul airport were caused by stampedes of people trying to get to the airport or by gunshots fired in the area, a Taliban official told Reuters. At least two – including an ex-soccer player – plunged to their deaths mid-air after clinging to a US military plane when it took off.
Biden also appeared to inflate troop numbers in Afghanistan but deflate the number of troops in Syria during the interview, according to the Washington Post.
The president referenced the 300,000 Afghan troops the US had been training but a 2021 report from the International Institute of Strategic Studies found Afghanistan has an active force of 178,800.
Biden also suggested there was no US military presence in Syria.
A senior Biden administration officials told Politico last month that there were 900 troops stationed in Syria — and that figure was unlikely to change.