US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin contradicts Biden, says Americans are being assaulted by the Taliban in Kabul

Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense (center), meets with National Guard troops stationed at the US Capitol on January 29, 2021. Manuel Balce Ceneta - Pool/Getty Images
Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin stated that the Taliban are beating Americans trying to reach the airport.

Biden had just said that he had never heard of such cases, and he made his remarks to legislators.

Reporters from Afghanistan also reported that Americans had difficulty getting to the airport.

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Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary, confirmed that Americans are being attacked while trying to get to the airport to leave Afghanistan. This was just minutes after President Joe Biden stated that he doesn't know of any Americans being blocked.

Biden stated Friday that he knew of no situation where American citizens - with an American passport - were trying to enter the airport. He was speaking about the US' chaotic withdrawal in Afghanistan.

Politico reported that Biden's claims were almost immediately discredited by his defense secretary during a briefing with Congressmen.

John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, also confirmed the reports.

Kirby stated, "We have communicated with the Taliban that this is absolutely unacceptable" and that he wanted free passage through checkpoints for documented Americans. "That's what is happening, in large part."

Kabul Journalists reported that Taliban are preventing American citizens from reaching Hamid Karzai Airport, the nation's capital.

CNN's Clarissa Ward, a CNN correspondent, stated that they had difficulties getting to the airport. "It's like solving a Rubik’s is very difficult, it's not an easy process at all."

She said that anyone who claims any American can get into here is wrong.

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Ward's camera crew captured Taliban fighters holding weapons as they tried to block access to the airport in an earlier report.

Also reporting from Kabul by ABC News, Ian Pannell of ABC News said that Biden's claim is "totally" not consistent with his ground experience. He also stated that he has heard from multiple Americans and Afghan visa holders who were unable to travel to Kabul.

He said, "It was amazing." "Last night, we had American citizens who had the exact same experience. They had tried to get in the airport but they waved their American passports...they got beaten by the Taliban using rubber fan belts that were attached to a vehicle.

Pannell said that it seemed like reality and rhetoric were miles apart. "I don't know what advice the president is getting, but I do know that these people are afraid of their lives and can't get past."

David Fox, one of the Americans interviewed by ABC, shared his unsuccessful attempts to get into Kabul's airport.

He said, "I was actually beaten with one of those fan belts because I wasn't moving fast enough."

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