US Lawmakers Walk Out Of Classified Afghanistan…

Us Lawmakers Walk Out Of Classified Afghanistan...

On Wednesday morning, many US Republican and Democratic congressmen walked out of a confidential briefing on Afghanistan with members of US President Joe Biden’s cabinet after their queries went unanswered.

CNN said that lawmakers were enraged after officials from the State Department, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of the Director of National Security failed to answer basic questions during a briefing for members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, citing sources.

About 100 Americans are still in Afghanistan, according to US State Department officials, both privately and publicly, who want to leave the war-torn country after the Taliban takeover.

Some legislators have told CNN that they don’t understand the department’s accounting, considering that the government claims to have evacuated more than 75 Americans from Afghanistan in the last two weeks. Officials from the State Department have stated that they are unable to provide a more precise figure due to the dynamic situation on the ground.

“As a general rule, we do not comment on contacts with Congress, especially those done in a classified setting,” a US State Department official told CNN on Wednesday.

On CNN’s “The Lead” on Wednesday, US Republican Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said “everyone walked out” of the meeting, and questioned whether administration officials knew the number of Americans still in the country.

“To be honest, I don’t think they know all the answers,” he remarked of the administration.

According to a Democratic aide, some members of the committee departed Wednesday’s secret session because Republican members were not wearing masks as required by COVID-19 protocols. Many members are pleased with the State Department’s involvement, according to the aide.

Evacuation planes are still departing Afghanistan at a gradual pace, with one over the weekend carrying another 21 US nationals. Officials believe doing background checks on those who do not have all of the requisite documentation takes a lot of time, especially because of the coordination required between the US, Qatar, and the Taliban, according to CNN.

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