“I worked for a family last night for about eight hours. That video was from the family. They had been trying to get into the back gate, the south gate. It was the only one open yesterday. Everything else welded shut. And they had been turned back by the Taliban multiple times. They had been beaten. They were scared. They were terrified. And we could not get them through last night,” Odom told “Fox & Friends.”
Odom’s comments came after a video reportedly showed Americans being denied.
Odom described the contact with the family last as a “heroic effort.” He added “informal networks of people will pop up” to help.
“We had them moving through the checkpoints. … They could not get into the gate. The gates were closed. They were outside, waving their passports. We are telling them to scream that ‘I’m an American. I need to get on this airplane.’ And no one let them. And you know, we heard that went all the way up to the top of the military leadership,” Odom said.
A State Department spokesperson said Saturday at least 5,400 Americans have been safely evacuated since Aug. 14, including nearly 300 U.S. citizens within the last day. But another 350 Americans remain in Afghanistan and have informed the State Department they want to get out.
The State Department said they are providing “assistance around the clock” to these citizens seeking to evacuate.
In addition, the State Department has been in contact with another 280 people who have said they are American citizens but have not shared their plans to leave the country or have said they plan to stay.
The flights out of Kabul’s international airport have continued in the wake of the terrorist attack Thursday led by ISIS-K that killed 13 American service members. Their deaths mark a painful end to a 20-year war that already claimed more than 2,400 military lives.
Odom responded to U.S. Ambassador Ross Wilson’s tweet addressing the “false” claim that Americans stranded in Afghanistan are being denied access to the Hamid Karzai international airport by embassy staff or U.S. Forces.
Odom pushed back on Wilson’s tweet, claiming that his statement was “false,” since the Taliban is not letting people through.
“Well, as of about 3:00 Eastern time this morning it was definitely false,” Odom said.
“I have a family of four that were outside the gate. We were networking furiously. Every channel that we knew, some with folks had channels into Centcom and other operations. And these folks were not allowed in the base. The base is shut down. So there is Americans who are being left behind.”
Fox News Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.