“Thousands of Americans” could be left behind in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan because President Biden won’t budge from an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline, charged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday.
“The president’s misguided decisions run the risk of creating the largest international hostage situation we’ve ever faced as a nation,” the California Republican said at a news conference Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.
Accusing Biden of betraying Americans, McCarthy called the withdrawal “the biggest foreign policy failure.”
“He turned his back on our own citizens stranded in Afghanistan,” McCarthy said.
“He’s turned his back on his duties as a commander in chief.”
One week ago, Pentagon officials denied the United States was solely dependent on the “goodwill” of the Taliban to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies.
But Biden had a different message when he addressed the nation Tuesday.
“The completion by August 31st depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who … we’re transporting out and no disruptions to our operations,” he said.
The White House says that since Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated or helped evacuate about 82,300 people on U.S military and coalition flights.
However, only about 4,000 U.S. citizens have been evacuated, and the White House has been vague on many Americans are left.
The State Department said Wednesday that there are still several thousand Americans believed to be awaiting evacuation.
According to the Pentagon, 10,000 people are at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul awaiting a flight.
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