The media wasn’t notified until two months later that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had taken a parental leave in mid-August to care for his newborn twins. Buttigieg’s office 폴리티코에 말했다 on Thursday that he was “mostly offline” for an entire month “except for major agency decisions” and that his activities had been ramping up in recent weeks.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, 인디애나, best known for his 2020 run for the presidency, did not appoint an interim secretary during his leave, even while supply chain disruptions across the country have left shelves empty ahead of the crucial holiday shopping period. He told CNN on Sunday that the disruptions are expected to continue until next year.
“Pete Buttigieg was completely unqualified to serve as Secretary of Transportation,” 이것의. 톰 코튼, R-Ark., 트윗 월요일. “지금, Pete is absent during a transportation crisis that is hurting working-class Americans.”
“PETE BUTTIGIEG has been MIA,” Politico 선언 목요일.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Buttigieg on Twitter after Democrats bristled at the “나의” label.
“Also proud to work in an Administration that is fighting to make paid leave a reality for everyone, and with people like @SecretaryPete who are role models on the importance of paid leave for new parents,” Psaki tweeted Friday.
Buttigieg isn’t the only Cabinet member to face criticism for his absence.
이번달 초, 카말라 해리스 부통령 flew to Palm Springs, a resort town about 107 miles east of 천사들, 에 대한 “private family matter,” 관리들은 말했다. Harris spent one night on Oct. 1 at an undisclosed location in Palm Springs and no other reason was given for the trip.
3 월부터, when Biden put her in charge of addressing the root causes of the border crisis, Harris has faced steady criticism from Republicans for not visiting the border region – save for a brief trip to El Paso, 텍사스, in June – despite her taking several trips to her home state of California. Days after her Palm Springs trip, 해리스 visited New Jersey instead of accompanying Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for high-level security talks in Mexico City.
9월에. 17, the same day that U.S. Marine Corps Gen. 케네스 맥켄지, commander of U.S. 중앙사령부, told reporters that an Aug. 29 drone strike targeting ISIS actually killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, not terrorists, Biden and first lady Jill took a trip to Rehoboth, 델라웨어, for a quiet weekend of church service and bike rides.
The president was already under fire for his handling of the chaotic U.S. military evacuation from the country, during which a suicide bombing attack in Kabul left 13 우리. service members dead. Biden has repeatedly defended his plan to withdraw troops from the country, while as many as a hundred U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of Afghan allies and Afghans vulnerable to Taliban reprisal remain stranded. 대통령 largely avoided cameras during the initial drawdown, watching the Aug. 15 fall of Kabul unfold from the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.
According to a detailed timeline of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul compiled by The Washington Post, 미국의 조치. officials in the days leading up to the Aug. 15 collapse suggested “경보에 대한 즉각적인 원인 없음,” with many of them “surrendering to the customary rhythms of Washington in August.”
플래시, like other U.S. 공무원, had to be called back from his vacation once things started rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, 보고서는 말했다.
백악관 언론 비서 Jen Psaki 가졌다 an “out of the office” email message for one week starting the same day Kabul collapsed, but returned to the White House the next day.
해리스, who previously said she had a key role in Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, also managed to stay relatively silent on the crisis, instead embarking on her first official visit to Southeast Asia in an unrelated trip.