White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan on Tuesday, saying he had been given “split” opinions by his military advisers.
Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.
Psaki said the president asked for candor from his advisers, “he’s not looking for a bunch of yes men and women.”
“If there’s conflicting advice given, by necessity, some people some people’s advice will not be taken,” she said.
Psaki was reacting to testimony from Gen. Mark Milley, the top U.S. military officer, who called the 20-year war in Afghanistan a “strategic failure” and told Congress on Tuesday that he believes the U.S. should have kept several thousand troops in the country to prevent the unexpectedly rapid takeover by the Taliban.
In his first congressional testimony on the tumultuous withdrawal Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refused to say what advice he gave Biden last spring when the president was considering whether to keep any troops in Afghanistan.
But he told the Senate Armed Services Committee it was his personal opinion that at least 2,500 were needed to guard against a collapse of the Kabul government and a return to Taliban rule.