Richard Blumenthal, one of the more partisan politicians in America, slammed the Biden administration Monday afternoon. The Connecticut senator is “furious” about the ignoble efforts toward assisting Americans trying to escape Afghanistan.
Blumenthal issued a press release condemning Team Biden for delaying flights out of Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport following reports that the administration did not give evacuation flights the green light.
Dem @SenBlumenthal with a scorching assessment of Biden admin's handling of grounded flights: "I have been deeply frustrated, even furious, at our government’s delay and inaction." pic.twitter.com/IkPJEw5FUn
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) September 6, 2021
Blumenthal and his staff are reportedly working around the clock to “secure the safe passage of two planes” carrying “American citizens, at-risk Afghan allies, and their families.”
THREAD: My staff & I have worked night & day to secure the safe passage of two planes waiting in Mazar-e Sharif to take American citizens, at-risk Afghan allies, & their families to safety. 1/6
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 6, 2021
The Senate Armed Services Committee member is frustrated at the government’s “delay and inaction” in rescuing people left behind in Afghanistan after Biden’s botched troop withdrawal.
“There will be plenty of time to seek accountability for the inexcusable bureaucratic red tape that stranded so many of our Afghan allies,” Blumenthal explained. “For now, my singular focus remains getting these planes in the air and safely to our airbase in Doha, where they have already been cleared to land.”
The senator also said he expects the Biden administration “to do everything in their power to make this happen” because “these are American citizens and Afghans who risked everything for our country. We cannot leave them behind.”
Blumenthal’s complaints come a day after Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized the administration about planes holding American citizens and allies at the airport — 150 miles from Kabul — that the Taliban refuses to let leave.
Other members of the president’s party criticized his handling of the shambolic withdrawal the last few weeks.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, disagreed with Biden about working with the Taliban to secure passage, saying, “As we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We can’t trust the Taliban with Americans’ security.”
While traveling in Qatar with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, embattled Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed Monday there are no U.S. hostages in Afghanistan, and the dearth of Americans leaving the country the past week is simply due to a disagreement about paperwork. Blinken said, “We are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage-like situation at Mazar-i-Sharif. So, we have to work through the different requirements and that’s exactly what we are doing.”
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