US President Joe Biden on Wednesday insisted he doesn't know how the US could have withdrawn from Afghanistan without "chaos ensuing."
In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, the President was asked whether the exit from Afghanistan could have been handled better in any way with no mistakes.
"No, I don't think it could have been handled in a way that, we're gonna go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens," Biden responded. "I don't know how that happened."
Stephanopoulos asked if that was "always priced into the decision."
"Yes," the President responded, adding, "Now exactly what happened, I've not priced in."
Biden said in the interview the Taliban is "cooperating, letting American citizens get out," but added that the US is having "some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there."
Biden has come under fire for his handling of the crisis in Afghanistan. On Monday, he gave a speech in which he justified the decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and said he “stands squarely behind” that decision.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan was "an unmitigated disaster."
"So against everyone's advice, including the current president’s own military, he decided to withdraw and to withdraw rapidly. What we have seen is an unmitigated disaster, a stain on the reputation of the United States of America," McConnell said.
"Every terrorist around the world, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Africa, are cheering the defeat of the United States military by a terrorist organization in Afghanistan," he added.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Biden “chose a dangerous and dishonorable path in Afghanistan, and he has no one to blame for this debacle but himself.”
Former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that the US withdrawal - which allowed the Taliban to take control of Afghanistan - "gave the terrorists a win."
Former Vice President Mike Pence penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in which he accused Biden of showing "weakness" toward the Taliban.