President Joe Biden pressured Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to create the “perception” the Taliban weren’t winning, “whether it’s true or not,” in a phone just three weeks before insurgents seized control of the country, a bombshell leaked transcript shows.
Biden and Ghani spoke for roughly 14 minutes on July 23 in what would be their final call before the Taliban overran the government and Afghanistan descended into bloody chaos amid the botched US withdrawal, according to a transcript and audio obtained by Reuters.
Much of the call was focused on what Biden referred to as the Afghan government’s “perception” issue.
“I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said.
“And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”