President Biden said Thursday he is “rejecting” the accounts of senior U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan who have said administration officials failed to grasp the Taliban’s rise last year or the urgency with which the United States needed to prepare for an evacuation.

Biden said in an interview with NBC News that it did not ring true to him that administration officials ignored warning signs or were in denial about the situation.

“No,” he said. “No. That’s not what I was told.”

The president, pressed on whether he was rejecting the accounts in the reports, said he was.

“Yes, I am,” Biden said. “I am rejecting them.”

The president was questioned about his administration’s handling of the evacuation after The Washington Post first reported this week that U.S. commanders overseeing the hastily arranged operation told military investigators that senior White House and State Department officials resisted their efforts to rally support for more meticulous planning well before Kabul’s fall on Aug 15.

The criticism from military officials, including Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, the operation’s senior commander, appeared in a U.S. Army report, obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information Act request. Spanning 2,000 pages, the documents detail the life-or-death decisions faced by U.S. service members ordered to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport for 17 harrowing days as the United States raced to evacuate more than 120,000 American citizens and foreign allies who aided the war effort….


Brig. Gen. Farrell Sullivan, a Marine Corps general overseeing aspects of the operation, told investigators that it was his opinion that the National Security Council “was not seriously planning for an evacuation.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said this week that the report illustrates how people across the U.S. government “were working hard under incredibly difficult circumstances to make the best decisions they could in real time,” and that effort was unprecedented.

“Nothing like this had been attempted since the end of the Vietnam War,” he said. “Everyone’s heart, up and down the chain, was in the right place.”…