White House avoids questions about Biden 'responsibility' for civilian casualties in drone strike
The White House did not directly answer questions from reporters on Wednesday about the casualties resulting from President Joe Biden's Afghan drone strike.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny first asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki during Wednesday's briefing "how much confidence" Biden has "that the drone strikes in Afghanistan have killed ISIS militants."
"How much confidence in which aspect?" Psaki responded, prompting Zeleny to reiterate whether Biden is confident that "the drone strikes killed the targets that were intended to be, ISIS fighters as opposed to innocent victims on the street" and if the president would "take responsibility if the innocent people were killed."
"Well, first, there is an investigation that's ongoing, as there always is in any event of drone strikes that could have impacted innocent civilians, and the United States takes incredibly seriously our role in preventing civilian casualties, whenever we possibly can," Psaki responded. "So I'm going to let that play out. The president also takes that responsibility incredibly seriously."
Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before both Senate and House committees earlier in the week, during which he admitted the U.S. is not 100% aware of the identities of the casualties from the strikes.
Blinken was asked by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul if the target was an "aid worker or an ISIS-K operative," prompting the secretary to answer flatly, "I don't know."
You can watch Wednesday's entire briefing below.
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