Vice President Kamala Harris “owns” the execution of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan following her touting the role she played in President Joe Biden’s decision, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
“Vice President Kamala Harris has been, at least visually, front and center as President Biden has overseen America’s retreat from Afghanistan,” the newspaper wrote in a story headlined, “Kamala Harris has touted her role on Afghanistan policy. Now, she owns it too.”
“The harrowing images of the United States’ retreat from Kabul this week, with desperate Afghans futilely chasing a packed Air Force plane, is likely to be a defining moment in Biden’s presidency,” Times writer Noah Bierman added. “But the execution of the withdrawal will also be added to Harris’ resume, underscoring the complex challenge she faces as Biden’s understudy.”
The Times noted that following Biden’s decision in April to withdraw U.S. troops, Harris boasted during an interview on CNN “that she was the last one in the room before Biden made his decision, and felt comfortable with the plan.”
It added that because of her desire to “erase any daylight between her and Biden,” it would become difficult to separate herself from any of his decisions that might go awry.
“Neither Harris nor administration officials would say what, if any, questions, concerns or reservations Harris raised about the withdrawal plans or the fate of thousands of Afghans who aided U.S. forces,” The Times wrote. “It is also unknown whether she expressed any skepticism about intelligence assessments that a Taliban victory was more than a year away.”
The Biden administration has been crushed from both sides since armed Taliban fighters swept into Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Sunday, forcing the Afghani president to flee the country while his government collapsed. Scenes of chaos and panic at Kabul’s airport have captured the globe’s attention as the United States’ 20-year military presence in the country ends.
“Most observers expect the Taliban will treat women harshly, returning to rules that exclude them from schools and the rest of society and subject them to violence and death if they resist. The country’s president has fled. Intelligence experts worry it will become a haven for terrorists,” the Times wrote before quoting a Harris advisor who said the vice president has been a champion for women throughout her career.
In June, the same newspaper said Harris had been ineffective in her role only five months after fawning over her so extensively that the paper’s coverage was labeled “inappropriate and disappointing.”
The Times was ridiculed on social media in January when it announced “Covering Kamala Harris,” a project described as “a beat dedicated to her historic rise to the White House” that was loaded with complimentary content.
The Times has since dialed back the praise, even abandoning an Instagram account dedicated to Harris.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.