It’s a full-court press by the White House this morning as Biden’s natsec team desperately tries to spin the continuing clusterf**k in Kabul. “This Week” will welcome defense secretary Lloyd Austin, who’ll try to explain why U.S. troops aren’t venturing into Kabul to retrieve stranded Americans and why we bugged out of Bagram early last month knowing that its airfield would be useful in a rapid evacuation scenario.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will be on as well, each doing double duty to make sure that an administration official is featured on each of the five Sunday shows. Sullivan will speak with “Meet the Press” and “State of the Union” while Blinken will appear on “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday.” Why didn’t evacuations begin weeks or months ago? Why did Biden get so many things wrong about the situation on the ground in his public remarks on Friday? Why did he falsely assure our NATO allies in June that America would guarantee Kabul’s security during evacuations? What happens if everyone isn’t out by the August 31 deadline? They’ll try, and almost certainly fail, to answer those questions and more.
COVID is on the agenda as well this morning, as it has been for the past 18 months. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will talk with “This Week,” “State of the Union,” and “Fox News Sunday” about full FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine that’s impending this week and what the data is showing about the long-term efficacy from booster shots. He’ll also be asked about school resuming in many states this week. If those states see a sudden rise in cases, what will the feds recommend?
Finally, keep an eye on “Face the Nation” for an interview with political weathervane Nikki Haley, who’s forever recalibrating how critical she can be of Trump. A few days ago she attacked Biden on Twitter for his folly in thinking he could negotiate with the Taliban about securing Kabul airport — but of course he’s not the only president recently who reached an agreement with that group and counted on them to abide by it. She’ll be asked about Trump’s record on Afghanistan. What will she say? The full line-up is at the AP.