The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday restricted airspace over Wilmington, Delaware, for the weekend — revealing President Biden planned to head home despite the chaotic situation in Afghanistan.
The temporary flight restrictions for “VIP movement” go into effect Friday evening and are set to last until around 1:30 a.m. Monday, according to an FAA alert issued Thursday.
The White House on Thursday night released a daily schedule confirming that Biden will travel to Wilmington around 2 pm Friday after delivering a speech on Afghanistan.
The trip, Biden’s 18th since becoming president, comes after he faced intense backlash for being at Camp David in Maryland last weekend as the Taliban rapidly swept through Afghanistan, taking the capital of Kabul on Sunday.
The president eventually curtailed his trip and returned to the White House to address the nation on Monday, admitting that “this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.”
He then returned to Camp David, before turning back around and heading back to the White House on Tuesday night.
One close Biden foreign policy ally told The Washington Post that the president’s team would never have let him leave DC last weekend had they known about the impending crisis — including the ongoing scramble to evacuate US citizens and Afghan allies out of Kabul.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week in response to a question from The Post that Biden will not release logs of his visitors in Delaware, despite the Biden White House releasing lists of official visitors to the West Wing.
The president’s plans this weekend appeared to be in flux as he faced significant bipartisan criticism about planning for the final US withdrawal from Afghanistan. FAA restrictions previously indicating that Biden would be traveling to Wilmington on Thursday.