Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images
Veterans and Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Peter Meijer, R-Mich., traveled to Kabul “in secret” on Tuesday, drawing the ire of Biden administration officials.
The congressmen are now casting doubt on the Biden administration’s planned Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.
“As Members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the executive branch. There is no place in the world right now where oversight matters more,” Moulton and Meijer said in a joint statement Tuesday.
The trip was criticized by an official with the U.S. State Department, who said of the congressmen: “They have chosen to put themselves, our servicemembers, and our diplomats at even greater risk — all while potentially depriving those in need of a seat to safety.”
The Associated Press, which first reported on the travel, added that other Biden administration officials were “furious” about the trip.
Moulton and Meijer defended their travel to Afghanistan.
“We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand,” their statement said. “We left on a plane with empty seats, seated in crew-only seats to ensure that nobody who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence.”
Today with @RepMeijer I visited Kabul airport to conduct oversight on the evacuation.
Witnessing our young Marines and soldiers at the gates, navigating a confluence of humanity as raw and visceral as the world has ever seen, was indescribable. pic.twitter.com/bWGQh1iw2c
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) August 25, 2021
The congressmen added: “After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11. Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban.”
Earlier Tuesday, President Biden said the U.S. is on pace to leave by the Aug. 31 deadline.
The Taliban, which staged a forceful takeover of Afghanistan last week, have said they would not extend the U.S. grace beyond the end of August, and that if forces are still in the country beyond that date, there would be unspecified consequences.
NPR’s Michele Kelemen contributed reporting.
How US Teens Are Helping Police Better Their Response To School Shootings
"Our goal is to unnerve the officers as much as possible. And that involves students screaming, fire alarms going off,...
San Francisco First Major US City To Declare Monkeypox “Local Emergency”
According to the mayor's office, the city has confirmed 261 cases of Monkeypox. There are reportedly 799 cases in California,...
Tropical Fat-Dissolving Loophole Scam or Legit? Exipure Weight Loss Reviews
Exipure is a natural composition of 8 unique plant ingredients that help increase the levels of brown fat in your body....
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari becomes youngest foreign minister of Pakistan
President Arif Alvi administered the oath to 33-year-old Bilawal at a simple ceremony at the Aiwan-i-Sadr (President's House), where Prime...
Early Voting For S.Korea President Begins In Shadow Of COVID
SEOUL, March 4 (Reuters) - South Korea began early voting on Friday for a presidential election in the shadow of...
In Call With Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Offers To Mediate In Russia-Ukraine War
Saudi's leader called for a "political solution" after the Russian invasion and also reiterated his support for the OPEC+ group...