Over the weekend, the Afghanistan government collapsed and the Taliban seized control of the nation, the longest war in American history ending in apparent defeat.
President Joe Biden has not addressed the nation since the fall of Kabul. And today, his schedule was released by the White House. It’s notably sparse, as he’s away from the White House at Camp David. But the image of a president with a blank schedule as America’s longest-ever military engagement came to a slapdash end sparked ire on social media.
The only item on the schedule is Biden receiving the President’s Daily Brief.
Some speculated that Biden’s lack of public appearances could be the result of a medical condition, causing the 25th Amendment (the process by which a president can be removed from office by his cabinet) to trend on Twitter.
That said, the majority of fretting about Biden’s empty schedule in the face of the American mission crumbling in Afghanistan came from supporters of former President Donald Trump, which gave their tweets two levels of irony. For one, Trump began the process which led to the Taliban taking over the country, initiating the U.S. withdrawal. And two, prior to today, Trump was known for keeping an entirely empty schedule throughout his presidency.
Even at heightened times of concern and alarm—like during the coronavirus pandemic—Trump’s public daily schedule was devoid of meetings, and he was known to keep large blocks of “executive time,” which often was code for him watching TV.
Toward the end of his presidency, Trump’s public schedule sent out to the press every day consisted of just one statement, with nothing else listed: “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”
Perhaps conservatives would be less outraged about this if the White House released a statement confirming Biden is having many meetings and taking some phone calls?