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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  August 27, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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i can confirm that the vast majority of our employed staff and their immediate family members have been evacuated or currently on the grounds of the international airport. we are actively working to evacuate remaining staff and we have been in direct contact with them. these employees have served the united states. they have not only worked for us, they have worked with us.
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>> some of which involved, some of the numbers that you just went through. do you have numbers or do those include lprs? also do you have numbers for remaining sivs, for p1p2 applicants and in terms of the broader universe of at-risk afghans, do you have numbers for those? secondly, she punted on the idea of a diplomatic presence post-tuesday. i presume she did that because there's a decision. can you bring us up to date?
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i've got one more after this. the airport and the negotiations on who would run if anyone would run the airport after tuesday? >> great. let me take those in order. on numbers, i know there's intense interest in numbers. as you have heard today, as you heard from the secretary over the past couple of days, we have committed fro vieding all of you and in turn the american people as precise figures we can when it comes to american citizens. we have a special responsibility to american citizens. we're update on our progress in repatrioting those american citizens .
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this in the context of this massive and many ways unprecedented evacuation effort are our first goal has been to bring as many people to safety as quickly as possible. in many cases, we're going be in a better position in the coming days and coming weeks. >> we have reached out to thousands upon thousands. when it comes to legal -- lawful
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permanent residents, we have message to lprs in afghanistan since august 14th. we don't have precise figures to provide on that now. i would offer the same when it comes to the other categories. we have safely moved the vast majority of our locally engaged staff members to the kabul airport. >> negotiations over both a possible ongoing, continuing diplomatic presence after tuesday and the airport? is there anything new there on either? >> i will say a couple of thing onsthings
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on the diplomatic presence. there's a number of issues in a decision like this. first and foremost on our mind, it's always the case but acutely the case after yesterday. it's the safety and security of the americans who would be part of that mission. our people serving oversea, diplomats, service member, others are in a position to operate as safely and securely as possible. every country around the world will need to make a sovereign
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decision about any diplomatic presence in kabul, in afghanistan going forward. >> i'm asking about the u.s., not any other country. >> we're coordinating with our international partners to share ideas, to ensure that we're sending the appropriate signals and messages to the taliban. the taliban who, by the way, have been quite clear and quite open in the fact that they would like other countries to retain their diplomatic missions. they said, a spokesperson said we appreciate that the embassies that remain open and didn't close. we assure them of their safety and protection. this gets back to the point that the taliban have self-interest here as well. >> it's like the chinese and russians that remain opened. there's no decision?
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>> we do not have a decision to offer right now but it's something we're discussing with our partner and thinking about here. >> those discussions still continuing as well at the airport? >> i know there's been interest in airport. let me spend a moment on that. >> maybe if someone else wants to hear all that. i want to know if there's a decision? yes, or no. who will run on that? >> if someone wants to hear the whole thing. they can ask. >> i assume as a journalist you might be interested in hearing the context here. the point is that -- >> interest in the context. >> upon our departure we will transfer the airport back to the afghan people. it's not for us to decide. we're under taken -- >> that's not what i'm asking. i'm asking if there's a decision who will run the airport after the 31st. the last thing and i'll stop and
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won't ask another question at all. there was a briefing that was given to hill staffers and members of congress a little while ago in which a senior pentagon official, maybe he misspoke, maybe people misheard him but said the u.s. does not believe that isis or al qaeda are a threat to the united states. is that correct? is that the administration's position? >> i have not heard that comment. i couldn't -- >> regardless of whether you heard it or not. is that the administration's position that isis and al qaeda do not present a threat o the united states? >> i would need to know more about the context of that specific quote. let me be clear that this president has made certainly and he has made clear in no ambiguous terms that we will continue to confront using every appropriate tool.
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groups like al qaeda, groups like isis, any group around the world, where ever it is that would pose a threat to the united states and our people. yes. >> only airports, i don't know if you seen but just now there's a number of pictures and reports on twitter from various accounts that taliban units are moving into or towards the kabul airport. have you seen that? has the united states military seen that? >> my colleague at the white house was just asked about there as well. what dod has spoken to is their re retrograde planning. we intend to complete our mission by august 31st. >> these pictures were not -- this is happening like the past half an hour. >> i don't have any response to that. if there's any change in dod
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retrograde operations or timing, they would need to speak to that. >> u.s. forces would not be at the airport through the end of the day on august 31st? >> again, any timing operation when it comes to retrograde operation, the department of defense would need to speak to that. our people, those under chief of mission authority on the ground will leave the country as part of those retrograde operations but ultimately dod will need to speak to the timing in those operations. >> wouldn't that affect the remaining evacuations of any remaining u.s. citizens or afghans who have permission to leave? >> what i will say generally and this is the point dod has made is ta retrograde is not like turning an off switch. it's not off one minute and on the next in is transition from a full scale evacuation to a full
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scale retrograde and departure. as of the mechanics of that, i would need to refer to dod. >> continue a bit on recognition and aids. there is -- we're seeing the reality sinking in europe about taliban and accepting they will have to deal with the group. where is the united states -- where is the united states on that. i know you're focus is on the evacuation. the urgent element of that is providing humanitarian aid and since there's quite a bit of uncertainty about the airport as well. you have expressed your commitment to provide the aid. how are you going to do it? has the united states come to that decision that they will have to deal with the taliban because of humanitarian aid reason? >> first, on the issue of recognition, it's not unlike the question of any diplomatic presence going forward. it's something that we are in
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regular, constant contact with our allies and partners around the world to discuss . it speaks to a unified position on this. >> that mean you're aligned with their position? the. >> a separation question from conferring legitimacy. what i will say is these are questions we're actively discussing with our european partners and well beyond.
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discuss issues that are tactical and any relationship with the future government of afghanistan will look like. we're not prepared to answer them today because we have heard a range of statements from the taliban. some of them have been positive. some of them have been constructive but ultimately what we will be looking for, what our international partners was looking for are deeds, not words. any question of assistance is follow through. deeds, not words.
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humanitarian assistance is a separate issue. we have proven in context that are varied and really encome b -- encompass the world, the globe that we can contain a commitment, in this case to the afghan people in ways that does not have any funding or assistance pass through the coffers of a central government. that commitment will remain. i expect the united states to be very generous donor to the afghan people o. oaf the course of the past four years it's a billion dollars. it's a quarter of a billion dollars we allocated just this summer and the president just a few days ago allocated another 500 million to support internally displaced persons.
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>> have the taliban directly asked the u.s. in your conversations to keep diplomatic presence and if yes, what assurances have they provided for the security? also on the locally employed staff, you spoke about vast majority out or about to be out. can you put any figure about that and how much not out or about to be out? >> we have heard the safety -- >> presence. >> excuse me, presence. we have heard the same thing from the taliban privately that they have been saying publicly. i referred to a public taliban statement that they want embassies to remain open. they have made clear to us in our communication, they would like to see an american diplomatic presence we main. it's not up to the taliban. it's a determination that we
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will need to make consistent with the over ride ing prerogative. it's a decision we plan to discuss and confer about with our allies and partners as well. the taliban have pledged publicly. they said we assure them of their safety and protection. those are the same kinds of assurances we have received if private. we don't put all that great of value on words, what we're going to be looking for is an indication that there is substance, that there's merit to those statements. an indication there will be follow through before we make any such decisions. remind me of your second question. >> on the number of engaged staff. >> on the number of locally engaged staff, there's been hundred who is have been moved to safety in recent days.
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that is the vast majority of our locally engaged staff and family members. >> you don't have numbers? >> the vast majority are now safely out of afghanistan or at the airport compounds. >> there are reports that private planes are trying the fly in to evacuate some afghans but they have been turned away and told by the united states to not land. do you know if those reports are true? >> i would need to refer to the u.s. military to speak to those reports. what i can say is that this has been a highly effective operation when it comes to the evacuation. you need look no further than, again, the metric that matters. that's 110,600 people through u.s. military and coalition flights since august 14th.
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this is an operation that requires a great deal of coordination. it's an operation that requires a great deal of kchoreograpy. if you've been there, it's not chicago o'hare. it's the size of an airport of fairly small town. the orchestration and coordination that's required to have u.s. military charter other aircraft be able to take off every 45, every half hour, that is indeed a pretty sophisticated bit of business. i'd need to refer you to dod. >> the other part of some of these report s the united states is telling other countries to not accept plane ps of afghans
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this point. is that true? >> we're very warmly welcomed countries around the world who have opened their doors, who have opened their borders, who have put forward offers to accept afghan refugees. the united states has demonstrated incredible generosity as we do in these times. this will need to be a global effort. we have been gratified that countries around the world have indicated a willingness to host afghan refugees and we continue to urge additional countries to do even more. >> one more kind of broader question. you've said and the president spoke yesterday about some of the american citizens who have actively decided to not leave afghanistan. i think we talked here, maybe we have, about reasons why they may not want to leave. specifically, that they might not want to leave family member who is don't have visas or who aren't american citizens or don't have passports to get out.
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i'm wondering if this is something the state department is looking at addressing more broadly at changing some of its visa requirements or citizenship requirements or ability to allow more family members to come out so the american citizens don't have to make the choice between their safety and leaving their parent, loved ones, children behind. >> let me make a couple of broad points. number one, the number of individual with whom we have been in contact, who say that they don't wish to leave because they don't wish to leave their extended family hibehind is relatively small especially when you look at the universe of american citizens that we have repatriated, it's a relatively small number. number two, when we talk about this and i think it's important to understand the context around these numbers.
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the individuals we believe to be american citizens, we're in touch with, that number with fluctuate. it will be dynamic because especially as we get to a smaller and smaller universe of american citizens, they are making these decision and sometimes reversing these decisions multiple times a day. when we say we're in regular contact, we mean regular contact. multiple times a day. sometimes hearing one answer. other times hearing another as the remaining americans make these decisions. i'm not aware of any plans to change eligibility for visa requirements. we have a special commitment to american citizens. that special commitment is spelled out very clearly in 22 u.s. code, responsibility to secretary of state to american citizens. what i will say and the point that i think is relevant to this
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is that our military operation will come to an end by august 31st. what does not have an expiration date is for any american for whatever reason decides not to take us up on the offer now and will come to us in days, weeks, months, years saying i want to help. the tactics may be different . other forms of eligibility and we have talked about some of those forms of eligibility. again, august 31st is the end of the u.s. military operation.
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it's not tenhe end of our commitment. you couple that with what we heard from taliban about their commitment to safe passage, not only on our august 31st but also going. they have not attached any expiration date to the very public commitments they have made to safe passage. that is manager we will continue to press. put this in the category of for what it's worth. the afghan boarderrdered will b open. that's another reiteration of the commitment we have seen.
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that's something we'll be watching closely and something we are working on behind the scenes with our allies and partners around the world. yes. >> are you aware of any u.s. citizens who were killed in yesterday's attacks who weren't military or any civilians? >> we conducted accountability for all individual who is fall under chief of mission authority. that accountability was complete shortly after we received word of the attacks. we are unaware that any americans were -- any either private or americans under chief of mission authority were killed or injured or harmed in the attack. >> what is the state department's position on these opposition forces that have cropped up across afghanistan? are you supportive of these movements? >> our position is the same position that we had yesterday
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for august 14th, before august 1st going back. there needs to be a political settlement to this . working on this as well. there needs to be a political settlement. any future afghan government is to be one that we can work with, there needs to be inclusive. it needs to be a government that respects and upholds the rights of its citizens.
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that's what we'll be looking for. >> you said multiple times in the past few days that as many people as possible will be evacuated before august 31st. that implies that some people aren't going be on a plane leaving the country. what is the u.s. government's best estimate of how many people will still need help leaving afghanistan after august 31st? >> it's a difficult question. we have evacuated more than 110,000 people so far. we have always sought to be clear about this and sought not to sugar coat what will be a time of great uncertainty, a
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time of great fear, a time of concern for many aftghans and most will not fall within the categories that we have been talking about. american citizens, green card holders, sivs, p1s, p2s. the rise of the taliban will be of great concern to many afghans. our commitment to help those in need and that includes american citizens who for whatever reason decide to stay behind, to sivs not in a position to evacuate before august 31st. to others who fall within the
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kats categories but others who may not be in that category. that commitment will remain firm after august 31st. this is a commitment that united states has. there's a number of pieces to this. another is part of the taliban to safe passage. another important piece is this business of the airport. our interest, the interest of the international community but also the professed self-interest on the part of the taliban to have a civilian airport that is open, that is functioning, that can be provide opportunity for afghan who is may wish to leave the country. that is important to us.
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>> for those people who have not, for any number of reasons, not been able to get on the the airport campus and know at some point in the next 24 to 48 hours that they will be on plane, what guarantee can the u.s. government give to them at this point? they are very concerned their targets, that their families are targets and that no matter what the u.s. is able to work out with the taliban that they may be killed in the interim waiting for someone to help them leave the country. >> together with our partners, more than 100,000 individuals. many of these individuals were precisely in that position .
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the places they work or their gender. that's why we have worked together with our partners to affect this evacuation. the results of which, speak for themselves . -- >> you've been listening to the briefing of the state department. let's take you to the pentagon. this is retired admiral john
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kirby. >> colleagues process afghans in the special immigrant visa program and get on with their new life. i'm going to turn it over to him in just a second. we'll have some opening comments and we'll go to q and a. i'll moderate and call on you. before you ask your question of the general, identify yourselves and your outlet so he knows who he is talking to. we have a hard stop in 30 minutes at 4:00. can you hear me? >> i have you loud and clear. how about me? >> good, sir. i'll turn it over to you sir. >> thank you very much. it's great to be with you and the press corps today. i want to remind everybody to keep the warriors and heroes in our thoughts and prayers along with their families and the folks that continue to serve in afghanistan and around the globe doing our nation's business. less than a month ago, i was
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with you there in the room taltalk ing about our global information and today i'm here to discuss u.s. northern support to operation allies refuge. in addition to our no fail mission of defending the homeland, there's defense support of civil authorities. today our operations range from providing covid medical assistance, relieving pressure on the over burden medical systems in louisiana, mississippi and alabama while simultaneously supporting wild land fire fighting in the western united states. we're providing support to homeland security and the u.s. customs and border protection by conducting and monitoring an transportation support frr the southwest border mission. we're ready to conduct hurricane relief efforts if required. u.s. northern command providing support within the continental united states. on july 14th, the white house announced operation allies
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refuge which provides eligible afghan nationals and their immediate families the opportunity to relocate to the united states. department of state subsequently activated the afghanistan coordination task force and requested the department of defense provide temporary support for up to 3,500 afghan special immigrant applicants. on august 15th, the department of state requested and the secretary of defense approved additional support for afghan special immigrant visa applicants and other afghans. the u.s. northern command is providing temporary housing, medical screening, transportation and other services for both afghan special immigrant visa applicants and at risk afterghans.
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the secretary of defense authorized three additional military installations to provide support inside the united states for afghan special immigrant visa applapplicants, r family and other at-risk individuals. while not atask force, u.s. northern command is supporting operation allies refuge with services and additional forces including assisting with managing the flow of evacuees at dulles airport and in pennsylvania. that airport is opening up today. here is a snapshot of some of numbers that you'll see at the
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task force. task force eagle at fort lee in virginia stoods up in july and has the capacity for 1,750. today task force eagle at fort lee has supported 1,647 afghan special immigrant applicants and their families. nearly laugh of whom have completed the process and moved on with the support of department of state, non-governmental operations and volunteer operations. task force bliss at fort bliss, texas has a capacity of 5,000. received first flights with vulnerable afghans on saturday, august 21st.
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to date task force mccoy supported 2,083 afghan who is have being in hard structures. task force liberty at joint base mcquire, new jersey has a capacity of 3,500 and received its first group of afghans wednesday, august 25th. to date, task liberty has supported 1,192 afghans who are being housed in a mix of hard and soft sited structures. our total capacity at these four installations is 21,000 and growing. we're steadily working to increase capacity to the 50,000 number by september 15th. the number of military installations could increase in the future. the request for assistance from the state department specifically requested that the
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department of defense provide culturally appropriate food, water, bedding, religious services, recreational activities and other services such as transportation from the port of entry to the location of accommodations and some medical services as well. my team of military civilian and contract personnel are working closely with the numerous agencies both government and non-government to ensure further requirements and additional capabilities are available for vulnerable afghans. the department of homeland security is working to conduct a screening and security vetting for all special immigrant visa applicants and other vulnerable afghans in the fastest way possible consistent with the dual goals of protecting national security and providing protection for vulnerable afghans who supported the united states.
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we're working around the clock to vet all afghans being evacuated before allowing them into the united states. operating with compassion as they helped afghans and their families who have done so much for the united states and their allies through decades of conflict. i also talked with some of the afghans in each location. during the conversation i had with one family, i asked if they had what they needed. if they were doing okay, getting enough to eat and getting enough to sleep. the father thanked me saying they had what they needed and that it was the first time in a long time he has slept without being afraid for his family's safety. thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines are working across the united states to complete this incredibly important mission, to provide afghan a safe harbor.
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i'm grateful for the support of the community surrounding each of our bases and the volunteers and others who are aiding in all of these efforts. together we're honoring our commitment to our afghan partners and their families. i look forward to take your questions. thank you. >> thank you, general. start with lita. >> hi, general. i have one quick numbers question for you . can you tell us how many evacuees have gone through dulles? the governor said the numbers 14,000. we were told earlier it was about 7,000 siv. can you square those numbers for us? then i have a follow up. >> i don't have a specific number for you. state department would be best to ask that. i can tell you what has come to us and that's 6,578 at four
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separate locations. what we're sees of those that arrive at dulles, about 40% or so have been coming to us. >> you give us an assessment of the security risks as well as the covid risks. as you're doing and every one is doing these screenings, what security risks are you seeing? are you seeing a number of people showing up on lists and then what about covid? how is that testing going and what are the threats that the bases for covid? >> as i said in my opening comments, we're doing biometric testing. what we're seeing is folks
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coming across cleared by that process which i'm comfortable with. the afghans coming from the middle east into our locations that we have stood up are being tested multiple times. they're getting tested at dulles as well and enroute they get tested. we're seeing so far, to date, when i was at fort mccoy on wednesday, only three out of more than 1,300 had tested positive. when i went to fort bliss that same day, one out of more than 1200 had tested positive for covid. i hope that helps. >> 1 out of 1200. jim. >> hi, general. it's jennifer griffin with fox news. i want to go back a little bit to numbers. what percentage would you say of people who are processing onto
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these bases are siv holders or applicants or are you also housing people who apply for refugee status? just trying to understand the break down of who is on these bases and then secondly, there are reports from dulles that some of those -- some of the kp commercial flights that have come in had to people on the tarmac, on board planes for up to ten hours while screeners come on board. is anything being done to rectify that? are you aware of that issue at b dulles? >> i don't have that exact number in front of me. what i would tell you is the siv numbers have not been in excess of 50%. i don't have the detail right now. i'm aware of longer waits that
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you describe. dod work with the process owner dhs to streamline this. specifically customs and border protection along with tsa who owns that process. we knew exactly who was certifying that. that's customs that was certifying it across to the other side. if the improper system was utilized, they were being flagged as red on the receiving end at dulles. that should give you comfort that we're not leaning towards more conservative and pushing them out but ensuring verification. that led to the delays you're
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talking about. i believe we're in a good position. thank you. >> following up on jen's question. can you talk about the challenges that you've had with the dod and dhs systems, the biometric systems being able to pass that information in a timely manner and explain a little bit more about how all of the different flagging red that you've seen because names are passed through different sys systems? >> we can't answer that question. that's a question for dhs. i apologize. i don't have that information. >> to follow up a little bit more. with all of the thousands of afghans that are going onto these bases, many of them left their country with very little and probably have different
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levels of means to start life over here. how long is dod prepared to house and feed these refugees? >> we're prepared to house them and feed them as long as it takes to get through them the process and as long as the secretary approves that. they are coming here, starting over with what they bring with them. we have been well supported by the local communities that have sumped in to help these families with things of need such as died diapers, clothing, formula. you see the gammet when talking these large numbers. >> willing thoes as they go through the process, what do you mean by the process if they don't have a place to go, how long can they stay on base?
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>> they stay on base until they complete the special immigrant visa process which is owned by the state department with the support we provide medical support. we provide contract medical support as part of that. each will go through a screening process such as screening for disease. if they need vaccinated, we'll have the international migration organization to come in toward the end of the process and work with them on where they need to be relocated. many of them have family already here in the united states or relocated to place where there's afghan populations, et cetera. what we saw at fort lee with those already had some type of a special immigrant visa processing is that was taken about five to seven days. we won't know exactly how long that's going to take until the state department and everybody is on the ground full up and we're ready to begin processing.
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>> it's a long process. what happens if at some point while somebody is on a military base, they fail that screening? are they going back to afghanistan or what's the plan there? john, are you also taking questions? >> later. >> i would defer you to the department of the state for that. that's really their area of expertise. >> if somebody pfails a screenig process and on the military facility. >> they have gone through the screening process before putting feet in the continental united states from a security
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perspective. we provide all of the governmental organizations to support that, the medical process, et cetera. we are not doing security screening in support of state department. this is part of the application for special immigrant status. i hope that clarifies it. >> tony. >> do you have a graek down by gender of how many women, girl, boys and men have been processed by dod. it begs a lot of questions in terms of separate facilities. i have questions about culturally appropriate food. are we talking mres or local kitchens being hired to koom.
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>> we're seeing about 50/50 male/female. that can change back and forth. we're seeing about 15% with children. we're seeing a lot of female who is are pregnant. i don't have a specific detail for what you asked about for the total number with the children male/female, et cetera. that gives you an idea. we're seeing 513 children at one location for a total of about 30% of the location. with regards to your second question, we contract to provide support. meals, multiple meals for large windows. we'll provide a breakfast meal for three hours. we shut down for a second and spin up for a hunlunch meal ande same for dinner. most locations will have or do have a 24 hour grab and go
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culturally for the afghans as well. i hope that answers your food question. >> laura sullivan, "politico." >> hi, thanks for taking my question. i wanted to ask -- um -- first of all, ned price earlier said that he didn't know how many sivs have been evacuated. can you square that, general, with the numbers that you gave earlier? um -- is there a discrepancy between the ones that have been evacuated and the -- and the total number of people that have come to the united states? um, what's -- what is -- what is the difference there? and what is it that we're missing? >> laura, you're -- you need to ask the state department. i don't have that data for ya. that's a question for them. >> um, are there -- as a followup -- are there -- how many sivs and other afghans do
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you estimate are still at the kabul airport awaiting a flight out? >> i'll defer to general mck mckenzie. i don't know that answer. the state department or cent-com may have that answer for you, laura. >> today, it was about between 3 and 5,000 earlier today. but as we have talked about before, this is a snapshot in time. and it literally changes by the hour. but the last thing that i saw was somewhere between 3 and 5,000 but, again, changes hour to hour. courtney? >> hey, general vanherck. it's courtney kube from nbc news. i just have a couple clarifications. so when you talk about how they -- these individuals have already gone through the screening process before they even step foot here in the united states. does that mean their names have already been run through the national counterterror database? >> courtney, thanks. it is my understanding that each one of 'em and their names and their biographical data and their biometric data has been run through the established
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databases. >> and second, you also mentioned some of the medical support that the military is providing, including vaccinations. does that include covid vaccines at the bases? are those mandatory or optional? >> the -- the vaccines are offered to them. they're offered at dulles. we offer 'em as well as the task force locations. they are not mandatory. we see many of them are taking the vaccine if they've not already had it. >> on the paperwork that's -- that -- that they are getting assistance for their siv paperwork. is there any u.s. military component? like, do you have any military members who are assisting with that paperwork? >> so, the -- the paperwork on our end for accountability purposes, where -- where they arrive at the task forces, we absolutely are part of that paperwork process to ensure accountability, to provide security, et cetera for them at each of those locations. prior to arriving at our task
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force locations, we are not directly involved with the paperwork process. i don't know the role in cent-com of any of their voices. i'd defer you to general mckenzie on questions for any dod members forward. >> megan. >> general vanherck, it's megan meyers from military times. i wanted to ask why these particular bases were chosen for sivs? was it because of space reasons, hard and soft? you know, buildings. and -- or was it because of proximity to afghan communities in the area where some of them might end up being resettled? >> um, it -- it was not necessarily for the specific location to an afghan community. the department took a look at each location to ensure they had sufficient capacity. that there was capability in the region to support that. the limits of readiness and training for the local in -- in -- or infrastructure and the bases was also a consideration.
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those were all provided by the services. the services provided within the -- the recommendations for the department. they took a look at each location, and offered up those installations for approval by the department. >> we'll take one more. and then, we are going to let general close it out. >> hi, general vanherck. for the children that are on base, um, are there any educational classes being provided for them? if not, are those children able to go to the cdcs on base to help kind of with baby sitting and help kind of educating them on american ways and whatnot? >> that's -- that's a great question. so to answer the last part, first. currently, i'm not aware of any of them using cdcs on base but what i would tell you, there is an outpouring of support in the local areas, local communities, organizations, nongovernmental, that have showed up at each location to provide coloring
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books, books to read, educational opportunities, sports. at ft. bliss, when i was down there, the soldiers had built soccer goals and set up soccer areas for them to practice and play soccer to keep 'em occupied so that's a great, new story. >> okay. general, sir, i am going to turn it over to you for any closing thoughts you might have. >> well, thanks, john. and for everybody in the room and on the phones, it's -- it's a privilege to talk to you today and it's really a privilege to be executing this mission for those that have helped us for oftentimes a couple of decades. we continue to look forward to supporting them. we're prepared to do this as long as it takes to ensure that we get 'em settled here back in the united states of america. i am really proud of the soldiers, sailor, airmen and marines. coasties. i have got coasties working here for us. guardians. you name it. we're working very hard. every time i look 'em in the eye
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and i talk to them, you cannot imagine how proud and privileged they are to support this mission. and they tell me that all the time when i have been out on circulation. i feel the exact same way and we look forward to continuing to make this a successful operation. so thanks for letting me tell the story. >> general, appreciate your time this afternoon. >> okay. i got time to take a few on my own. >> just two quick things i think popped up on social media in the past hour or so. firstly, have the taliban entered or taken control of any parts of the military section that you are aware of? >> the taliban are not in control of any part of hamid karzai international airport. i saw that report, too. it's false. they are not in charge of any of the gates. they are not in charge of any of the airport operations. that is still under u.s. military control. >> john, can you give us any further details on the attack at
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this point? um -- anything about whether the marines noticed the attacker coming? um, anything about the -- the -- the firing of the shots? has any of that been kind of cleared up at this point? >> i don't have any additional details from what general mckenzie laid out yesterday. again, we are going to do the forensics on in and -- -- and try to learn as much as we can. and when we have some verifiable context to be able to talk to you about that, we'll do it but we are still digging into it right now. >> one other thing. do you have any timing on when you believe the air -- the aircraft with the remains will arrive? >> i don't. and as you might imagine, we're in the services are in contact with the families. and they'll notify the families that -- through -- through the casualty assistance case officers. and i think i want to respect that process. um -- as you know, sadly from
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covering this for so long, lita, i mean, it doesn't -- usually, it -- the process doesn't take that long. >> will the president and secretary go to dover to meet the families of the fallen? >> i'm not -- i don't have any schedule announcements to make. but we're all mindful of -- of the importance of any return of -- of fallen members, and certainly these included. by i just don't have any things to announce from a schedule perspective. tony? >> in terms of whether they are mostly stable or out -- out of danger? >> i don't have an update on the wounded -- um -- the -- the last count i had was that 20 of them had gone. the remaining -- there was some additional wounded but that they were treated on site and returned to duty. i don't know what the -- the status is. and as you know, tony, we don't usually get into the details of -- of wounded even
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anonymously. we just don't typically talk about that. >> useful to get a sense whether most are stable or -- >> i'm not going to promise that, tony. we -- we just don't talk about the status of -- of wounded, as i think you can understand. i mean, there is real privacy issues there that we want to be mindful of. >> okay. we have been listening to pentagon spokesperson john kirby there, as well as general vanherck. they took the gambit of questions, covered the gambit of issues. the number. they keep using the same number the past couple days. 500 americans who the state department is in touch with, ned price said. and they are trying to get out but that number hasn't budged for a couple of days. >> yeah, despite having told us there were 300 that they got out over the last 24 hours, we know the total they say at least 5,100 americans have been extricated from afghanistan. these are the latest numbers we have from the state department. but of course, the headline we get today from the president who says that his national security
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team tells him that the -- the -- the likelihood of another attack there in kabul still stands after what we saw yesterday. >> yeah and is likely. so obviously, the stakes are very high and we will continue to cover it until the end. >> "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. nearly 200 people killed. and an imminent terrorist threat remains. "the lead" starts right now. top u.s. officials now fearing there could be more attacks at the kabul airport with the clock ticking down to get americans and afghan allies out of afghanistan. then, masking up. a circuit court judge rules against the governor of florida and lets schools require masks if they want. plus, embattled california governor gavin newsom facing a recall battle. coming up, what may give us a clue about how the recall election will go


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