Blinken to face more Afghanistan questions after GOP criticism during House testimony

Blinken is expected to face more grilling from Republicans on issues including the decision-making behind the American military withdrawal and those still remaining in Afghanistan seeking evacuation when he sits for the hearing, which is set to begin at 10 上午. Eastern. The secretary gave a rough estimate of how many U.S. citizens are still stranded in Afghanistan when he faced the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday.


So as of the end of last week, we had about 100 American citizens in Afghanistan who told us that they wish to leave the country,” 闪烁说. “And I want to emphasize that this is a snapshot in time. It’s more accurately a moving picture, 如你所知, stepping back for a minute to know precisely at any given moment of time exactly how many American citizens are in any country.

The secretary of state also acknowledged that the Taliban is preventing charter flights in Afghanistan from leaving. “There have been charter flights that have been there for some time, that have not been allowed to leave,” 闪烁说.

Monday featured a number of tense moments as three Republicans – Reps. 李·扎尔丁, R-N.Y。, Tim Burchett, R-Tenn。, and Joe Wilson, 记录. – called on Blinken to resign.

Blinken was pressed on a Reuters report that 拜登总统 had asked then-Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in a phone callto project a different pictureof the battle against the Taliban – which was being viewed as a losing effort –whether it is true or not.

The secretary declined to weigh in, stating that he wasnot commenting on any purportedly leaked transcripts.

At another point on Monday, 代表. 迈克尔·麦考尔, 德州, asked Blinken if Russian President Vladimir Putin “受到威胁” Biden against developing intelligence capabilities near Afghanistan.


Blinken admitted that wasan important questionbut said it had to be addressedin another setting.

A number of Democrats defended the Biden administration against claims that the problems with the withdrawal were the fault of the current White House.

Disentangling ourselves from the war in Afghanistan was never going to be easy,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. 格雷戈里·米克斯(Gregory Meeks), D-N.Y。, 说过. “And for my friends who presume a clean solution for the withdrawal existed, I would welcome hearing what exactly a smooth withdrawal from a messy, 混乱的, 20-year war looks like. 事实上, I’ve yet to hear the clean withdrawal option, because I don’t believe one exists.

代表. Brad Sherman, D-Calif。, also defended the administration, arguing that there was an ongoingstampedelast month at the Kabul airport where the U.S. carried out its evacuation and thatthere is simply no way the administration can have an orderly or successful stampede.

Blinken himself placed blame on former 特朗普总统, who had negotiated a deal with the Taliban that set the stage for the U.S. 退出.

We inherited a deadline, we did not inherit a plan,” 闪烁说.

Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar, Peter Hasson and Houston Keene contributed to this report.