Two congressmen secretly flew into Kabul without authorization on Tuesday to witness the frantic evacuation of Americans and Afghans, angry Biden government officials and spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi urge other lawmakers not to follow suit.
The two members – Rep. Seth Moulton, Democrat from Massachusetts and Peter Meijer, Republican from Michigan, both veterans – said in a statement that the purpose of their trip was “to oversee the executive branch.” Both lawmakers have blistered the Biden administration for the past few weeks, accusing senior officials of dragging their feet in evacuating American citizens and Afghan allies.
“There’s nowhere in the world where oversight is more important,” they said.
However, administrative officials were furious that Mr Moulton and Mr Meijer had entered Afghanistan on an unauthorized, secret trip, arguing that efforts to take care of lawmakers provided much-needed resources to evacuate those already in the country People would have exhausted them.
The trip was previously reported by The Associated Press.
Mr Moulton and Mr Meijer said they left Afghanistan “on an airplane with empty seats, seats for the crew only, to ensure that no one who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence” and that they had taken others Steps to “minimize the risk and disruption to local people”. You were in Kabul for less than 24 hours.
Still, Ms. Pelosi urged other lawmakers not to do the same.
“Members’ trips to Afghanistan and surrounding countries would divert unnecessary resources from the priority mission of safely and quickly evacuating vulnerable Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan,” Ms. Pelosi wrote in a letter. She did not name Mr. Moulton and Mr. Meijer.
In their statement on Tuesday evening, Congressmen escalated their criticism of the administration’s handling of the evacuation, saying “Washington should be ashamed of the situation we have put our soldiers in” and the situation they experienced on the ground , was worse than they expected.
“After talking to commanders on site and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late,” no matter what we do, we will not get everyone out in time. “