Biden Has Not Spoken to Foreign Leaders During Afghanistan Crisis, White House Says

President remains on vacation at Camp David

August 17, 2021

President Joe Biden has not spoken to a single world leader since the Taliban retook Kabul, a top White House official said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Tuesday that the president has not taken a call from any foreign counterparts since the Taliban took control of Kabul on Sunday. Other administration officials, however, have spoken with their counterparts about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

The president made his only public appearance addressing the crisis on Monday when he defended his decision to withdraw troops, saying that the "buck stops" with him. Almost immediately after the speech—and without taking questions from reporters—Biden returned to Camp David to complete his vacation.

Biden’s lack of response to the crisis in Afghanistan prompted scrutiny over his fitness for office. Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.) on Monday raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office due to his doubts about his effectiveness. 

"We must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment?," Scott asked.