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As video emerged on Sunday of military helicopters landing near the U.S. embassy in Kabul to rapidly evacuate U.S. personnel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured: "This is manifestly not Saigon."

Driving the news: Blinken made the rounds on the Sunday shows to defend President Biden's resolute withdrawal of the U.S. military as Kabul nears complete surrender to the Taliban.

  • Jonathan Karl, the host of ABC's "This Week," asked Blinken whether the U.S. evacuation was comparable to Americans being airlifted from the U.S. embassy in Saigon in 1975.
  • "Let's take a step back. This is manifestly not Saigon," said Blinken, who argued: “In terms of what we set out to do in Afghanistan, we’ve done it.”
  • Biden announced Saturday that approximately 5,000 additional U.S. troops will be deployed to assist with drawdown of U.S. personnel and other allies as they evacuate the region. Of those, 3,000 were already announced, 1,000 were already in Kabul and 1,000 additional troops will arrive from the 82nd Airborne Division directly in Kabul.

What he's saying: When asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" why Biden didn't delay the deal struck by President Trump on a 2021 withdrawal, Blinken said: "Because we inherited a deadline. ... Come May 2, if the president had decided to stay, all gloves would have been off. We would have been back at war."

  • Biden blamed Trump, for empowering the Taliban and leaving them "in the strongest position militarily since 2001" but said in a statement that he had to make a choice and that he would not pass on the war to a "fifth" U.S. president.
  • Blinken also said on "Meet the Press" that the United States would have a "core diplomatic presence" in Kabul, adding: "In effect, an embassy at a location at the airport."

Go deeper: Behind the scenes of the Biden administration as the U.S. ditches Kabul

Go deeper

Biden's fiery 2024 preview

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris speak with reporters after their speeches Thursday. Photo: Ken Cedeno/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden says holding former President Trump accountable for the Jan. 6 attack is about confronting the truth so America can move on.

  • "I’m crystal clear about the threats America faces," he said at the Capitol today in a fiery speech on the anniversary of the riot. "But I also know that our darkest days can lead to light and hope."

Between the lines: Biden also previewed themes for 2024 — especially if there's a Biden-Trump rematch.

Biden blames Trump for Jan. 6 Capitol riot

President Biden was unsparing in his criticism of former President Trump for fanning the flames of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in a speech marking the first anniversary of the attack.

Driving the news: "The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election ... He sees his own interest as more important than this country's interest, America's interest," Biden said Thursday, without using Trump's name in his remarks.

Jan 7, 2022 - World

NATO rejects Russia's demand to halt future expansion

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Konstantin Palace presidential residence in Strelna outside St. Petersburg on Dec. 29. Photo: Alexey Nikolsky/Ria Novosti/AFP via Getty Images

NATO on Friday rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's demand that the military alliance halt admission of new members in a bid to prevent Ukraine from joining, AP reports.

Why it matters: With Russian troops amassed at the Ukrainian border, fear of another invasion has risen steadily in recent months. Friday's comments are a response to Putin's conditions for de-escalating the potentially devastating conflict.

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