John Kirby, the spokesman for the Department of Defense, refused to answer a question from a reporter on Monday about a Politico report that said that the Biden administration knew that an ISIS terrorist attack would be carried out on the airport in Kabul last week and that they had information about the approximate time and location.
“According to Politico, the U.S. knew where the attack, or roughly where the attack would take place on Thursday and when it would take place,” the reporter said. “Why were there U.S. troops at that gate, at that time?”
“What I can tell you is that we have been monitoring as close as we can intelligence that led us to believe that we were in a very dynamic and in some cases, specific threat environment, number one,” Kirby responded. “Number two, as General McKenzie said, we’re going to investigate. We’re going to get to the bottom of what happened last Thursday. 13 precious lives were lost. We’re going to take that seriously. And we’re not going to investigate it in public.”
“Number three, I am absolutely not going to speak to a press story that was informed by the unlawful disclosure of classified information and sensitive deliberations here at the Pentagon,” Kirby concluded. “Just not going to do it.”
Kirby issued a similar statement to Politico which did not dispute the accuracy of the story and only condemned the leaking of classified information.
“This story is based on the unlawful disclosure of classified information and internal deliberations of a sensitive nature,” Kirby told Politico. “As soon as we became aware of the material divulged to the reporter, we engaged Politico at the highest levels to prevent the publication of information that would put our troops and our operations at the airport at greater risk. We condemn the unlawful disclosure of classified information and oppose the publication of a story based on it while a dangerous operation is ongoing.”
.@PentagonPresSec John Kirby declines to comment on a @politico story he says "informed by the unlawful disclosure of classified information." The piece suggests officials knew when and where the #AbbeyGate attack would take place. #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/vDHLjj1KS7
— Michele Blood (@BloodBrief) August 30, 2021