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White House press secretary Jen Psaki sidestepped a question Monday about whether President Biden regrets how he conducted his military withdrawal in Afghanistan, which was followed a complete Taliban takeover of the country in a matter of days.

During her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked whether the regretted “the manner in which this withdrawal was conducted” after the U.S. evacuation effort in Kabul faced a major setback Thursday following the terrorist attack on the airport there that killed 13 U.S. service members.

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“Well, first I would say that the men and women who gave their lives, the president attended, as you noted, yesterday to honor their service, to honor their sacrifice,” Psaki responded. “And he had the opportunity to meet a number of the family members yesterday.” 

“That doesn’t take the place of all of the work that has been done to evacuate people,” she continued. “These 13 individuals sacrificed their lives to save tens of thousands of people, and that is something that should be honored, should be valued, and we will continue to look for ways to do that.”

Psaki was pressed further, asked whether Biden regrets “at all” how “this has played out in the last couple of weeks.”

Psaki responded by repeating that the president had visited with family members of the slain service members at Dover Air Force Base, where he also observed the “dignified transfer” of their remains to American soil.

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“Well, of course, for any president, as I said last week, a day or a week where you lose 13 service members is the worst day or the worst week of your presidency, and that remains the case,” she said.

“If you just take a step back, beyond yesterday, the president stands by his decision to bring our men and women home from Afghanistan,” she continued. “Because if he had not, his view and the view of many experts and military out there, is we would have sent tens of thousands, potentially, or thousands at least more troops back into harm’s way risking more lives and more people to fight a war the Afghans were not willing to fight themselves. Nothing has changed in that regard.”

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