Cruz quizzes Blinken over stories of lists of Individuals, allies given to Taliban
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas on Tuesday sparred with Secretary of State Antony Blinken over stories that the State Division gave the Taliban lists of Individuals and Afghan allies the U.S. was attempting to evacuate.
“Did the State Division give the Taliban an inventory or a number of checklist of Individuals and or Afghans that we needed out?” Cruz requested Blinken at a Senate Overseas Relations Committee listening to on the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“These stories and the concept we’d do something to hazard our residents or anybody else at a time after we have been attempting to avoid wasting their lives [are] flat-out flawed,” Blinken stated, however later added that “in restricted situations” the U.S. gave a manifest to folks at a checkpoint to exhibit they have been anticipated.
Cruz was referring to a Politico report, confirmed by Fox Information, that U.S. officers in Kabul gave the Taliban an inventory of Americans, inexperienced card holders, and Afghan allies in an effort to grant them entry to the airport, which resulted in outrage from navy officers behind the scenes.
A source confirmed to Fox News that the subject did come up in a categorised briefing on Capitol Hill and that U.S. officers didn’t hand over an inventory of “each single particular person” however have shared names piecemeal with the Taliban “every time they needed a selected group to return by way of.”
Moreover, the supply advised Fox Information that the handing over of names “basically doomed” some individuals who have been cleared to journey to the airport however weren’t on the particular lists supplied.
Cruz requested what number of names have been on the checklist, however Blinken stated it “doesn’t matter” and that he wouldn’t put a quantity on it.
“Senator by definition, these have been in restricted situations with a bus or a gaggle of individuals to get them by way of a checkpoint. They bought by way of the checkpoint,” he stated.
The questioning got here amid plenty of grillings obtained by Blinken on the listening to, the place he defended the Biden administration’s dealing with of the hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan and the scramble to get Individuals and allies out of the Taliban-controlled nation.
Earlier within the listening to, Cruz had dismissed efforts by Democrats on the committee to pin the blame on the Trump administration by arguing that Trump had made the preliminary settlement to withdraw troops in Could of this yr.
“Mr. Secretary, Joe Biden is the president of the US, Kamala Harris is the vice chairman of the US. You’re the US Secretary of State,” he stated. “Similar to [former President] Jimmy Carter owns the catastrophe of the Iran hostage disaster, you personal this.”
Fox Information’ Andrew Mark Miller and Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.