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So, lie? Reuters reports that in final call, Joe Biden told Afghan President Ghani 'to project a different picture' about what was actually happening

Think this Reuters scoop could be significant? Because it seems like it could be significant:

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More from Reuters:

In the last call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Afghanistan counterpart before the Taliban seized control of the country, the leaders discussed military aid, political strategy and messaging tactics, but neither Biden nor Ashraf Ghani appeared aware of or prepared for the immediate danger of the entire country falling to insurgents, a transcript reviewed by Reuters shows.

Reuters reviewed a transcript of the presidential phone call and has listened to the audio to authenticate the conversation. The materials were provided on condition of anonymity by a source who was not authorized to distribute it.

Biden lauded the Afghan armed forces, which were trained and funded by the U.S. government. “You clearly have the best military,” he told Ghani. “You have 300,000 well-armed forces versus 70-80,000 and they’re clearly capable of fighting well.” Days later, the Afghan military started folding across provincial capitals in the country with little fight against the Taliban.

In much of the call, Biden focused on what he called the Afghan government’s “perception” problem. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Biden told Ghani that if Afghanistan’s prominent political figures were to give a press conference together, backing a new military strategy, “that will change perception, and that will change an awful lot I think.”

The American leader’s words indicated he didn’t anticipate the massive insurrection and collapse to come 23 days later. “We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows,” said Biden.

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The important thing is making sure things look good even if they’re going to hell. Even if it means a lot of people are going to die.

Did Joe Biden actually care that Afghanistan was at very high risk of being retaken by the Taliban? He can’t plead ignorance on this one, because that’s not a good look, either.

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Could Joe Biden literally shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and suffer no political consequences? We hope we never have to find out.

We are curious, though, about the phone calls we still haven’t heard about. Imagine what else could be out there.

In the meantime:

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