Port: If you were incensed by Trump's lies, are you ready to be angry about Biden's?

The President is lying about Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 28, 2021. Michael Reynolds / Pool via REUTERS
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MINOT, N.D. — After his shocking election win in 2016, President Donald Trump was embroiled in a controversy around his lies about attendance at his inauguration.

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe," Trump press secretary Sean Spicer said at the time .

It was not. The Washington press corps, and Trump's many political opponents, made a big deal about it. The president was telling a bald-faced lie.

It wasn't Trump's worst lie during his tenure in the White House, but it was the first of many , to the chagrin of his understandably outraged critics, a group that includes this humble correspondent.

We should be consistently outraged when our elected leader insists on deceiving us about something we know, based on what we can see with our own eyes. is not true.


The keyword being "consistently." President Joe Biden is now telling us similarly bold fables about a matter of much more consequence than crowd sizes. Will Trump's many critics, both in the press corps and in the general public, be similarly incensed?

"Back in July, you said a Taliban takeover was highly unlikely. Was the intelligence wrong, or did you downplay it?" ABC News host, and former Clinton administration member, George Stephanopoulos asked Biden during his first interview since the bloody debacle in Afghanistan began to unfold.

"I think — there was no consensus. If you go back and look at the intelligence reports, they said that it’s more likely to be sometime by the end of the year," Biden responded.

This is a lie, and we know this based on his own remarks on July 8 , during a press briefing at the White House.

"Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse," Biden was asked.

"That is not true," the president responded. "They did not — they didn’t — did not reach that conclusion," he continued when pressed for details.


Biden was starker at another moment in that briefing. "Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?" the president was asked.

"No, it is not," he replied. "Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable," he continued when asked why.

Later, in the Stephanopolous interview, Biden tried to revise his own history of statements about Afghanistan. "Sen. McConnell said it was predictable that the Taliban was gonna take over," Stephanopolous told Biden.

"Well, by the end of the year, I said that’s that was — that was a real possibility. But no one said it was gonna take over then when it was bein’ asked," Biden responded.


Douglas London, a former CIA counterterrorism official and a former member of Biden's own counterterrorism working group, says the president is lying. “Ultimately, it was assessed, Afghan forces might capitulate within days under the circumstances we witnessed, in projections highlighted to Trump officials and future Biden officials alike," he wrote .

Elsewhere in the Stephanopolous interview, Biden insists that military advisors were not asking for a continued 2,500-troop deployment to keep things stable in Afghanistan. "They wanted you to keep about 2,500 troops," the president was asked.

"No, they didn’t," Biden responded, though the Wall Street Journal , among other sources, is reporting the opposite: "The president’s top generals, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley , urged Mr. Biden to keep a force of about 2,500 troops, the size he inherited, while seeking a peace agreement between warring Afghan factions, to help maintain stability."


Biden is lying.

Or, perhaps worse, given what it portends for the competency of the leader of the free world, this 79-year-old man simply can't remember what he's said about Afghanistan previously.

Either way, the pundits and partisans setting out to defend this tripe are as bad as Trump's gaslighting spinners.

If we want America to be led by better people, we need to stop making excuses for people like Trump and Biden.

To comment on this article, visit

Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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