Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was not happy when Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner pressed him on whether the United States was still relying on the Taliban to facilitate the departure of those who were left behind during the disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan last August.
The questions came as the U.S. warned Americans in Ukraine they do not have the capability to carry out a similar evacuation effort if Russia invades the country.
"When we look at the numbers of people potentially still in Afghanistan, our job is not done there. Can you understand perhaps, Admiral Kirby, why the American people might be a little skeptical as we go down a road again that has Americans that have to be moved quickly and 8,500 men and women in our U.S. military are perched?" Faulkner inquired.
"We absolutely share the concerns of so many Americans and some of these nonprofit and ad-hoc groups that are coming together to help us identify Americans and SIV holders, Afghan allies that still want to leave Afghanistan. You are right. The mission there is not over, Harris and we’re continuing to work inside the State Department task force to help people get out of Afghanistan," Kirby replied.
"Are we still relying on the Taliban?" Harris followed up.
"This isn’t about relying on the Taliban. This is about working with aid groups and identifying people to get out of Afghanistan," Kirby said.
"So the Taliban are not helping us doing that?" Harris pressed.
Kirby reiterated the Defense Department is still helping the State Department to get Americans out of Afghanistan.
"This isn’t about relying or working with the Taliban," Kirby snapped back when Harris noted she was not hearing a yes or no to her question.