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Mullin Demands Answers from Intelligence Community on Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) pressed the intelligence community on the number of Americans left stranded in Afghanistan and the State Department’s inability to get them out in a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing today. The panel included: Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence; William Burns, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Ronald Moultrie, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security; General Paul Nakasone, Director of the National Security Agency; and Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Video of Mullin’s remarks can be found here.

“We evacuated 130,000 people and that was touted as a success,” Mullin said. “At the same time, my team and I, we were trying to get people out. We had them at the gates, trying to get the gates open, but we couldn’t get Americans through the gates at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA). We touted that as a success and in fact, the word came out that every American who wanted out could get out. The president said that ‘well there’s roughly 100 people still left that wanted to get out.’ This is on August 31. And you’re telling me today that out of those 130,000 people evacuated – that the State Department touted as a success – we don’t know how many of those were actually Americans?”

“I can tell you every single American that my team has worked with has been willing to do everything they could to get out. Including an LPR with her 3-year-old daughter who died of an infection after trying to get her out for two weeks,” Mullin continued. “We had her at HKIA and we couldn’t get the State Department to open the door. We had her at the border of Tajikistan and the Tajikistan ambassador told me, “I’m sorry Mr. Mullin, but I was told not to assist you in any way.” Seven days later, the three-year-old girl died. Yet, we still don’t have a handle on how many Americans are in there.”

“Why is it that I can’t get help getting these other 124 out?” Mullin continued. “So, when you say you are working as hard as you can, why can’t we move them? I have 124 that are ready to come home.”

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