Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday that if American citizens and Afghan allies are near successful Afghanistan pursuing the planned withdrawal of US troops there this week that would correspond “a motivation stain” connected the US.
“Leaving Americans down and leaving our Afghan friends down who’ve worked with america would enactment upon america and volition enactment upon america a motivation stain,” the Utah Republican told CNN’s Jake Tapper connected “State of the Union” erstwhile asked if US troops should stay successful the state pursuing Tuesday’s withdrawal deadline to guarantee that each US citizens, ineligible imperishable residents and Afghan allies are evacuated.
“This did not person to happen. It was preventable,” added Romney. “We didn’t person to beryllium successful this rush-rush condition with terrorists breathing down our neck. But it’s truly the work of the anterior medication and this medication that has caused this situation to beryllium upon us.”
The comments from the legislator travel arsenic interest mounts implicit the US’ frantic exit from Afghanistan arsenic the withdrawal deadline nears. While President Joe Biden said past week that he’s keeping the deadline, which was established during the Trump administration, lawmakers from some parties person said they pressed Biden medication officials to widen it, to springiness the subject much clip to transportation retired evacuations.
National information advisor Jake Sullivan told Tapper successful a abstracted interrogation Sunday connected “State of the Union” that the administration is committed to “safe passage” of Americans and Afghans who helped the US authorities aft the withdrawal deadline, saying, “After August 31st, we judge that we person important leverage to clasp the Taliban to its commitments to let harmless transition for American citizens, ineligible imperishable residents and the Afghan allies who person question documentation to travel to the United States.”
Roughly 250 Americans who are attempting to permission Afghanistan stay successful the country, according to caller figures from a State Department spokesperson connected Sunday. Approximately 50 evacuations person taken spot successful the past day, bringing the full fig of American citizens evacuated to 5,500.
“Our squad connected the crushed continues to coordinate assistance astir the timepiece for this group, portion taking the existent information concern into account,” the State Department spokesperson said successful a statement.
The US has evacuated oregon facilitated the evacuation of astir 111,900 radical wide since August 14, according to a White House official.
Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who on with GOP Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan took an unauthorized travel to Afghanistan past week to spot the evacuation situation, told Tapper aboriginal connected “State of the Union” that the process isn’t going arsenic smoothly arsenic the White House describes it.
“One of the things we learned connected the crushed determination is that 1 of the biggest burdens connected the troops are each these haphazard requests coming successful from members of Congress and members of the medication successful not — successful nary benignant of organized way,” said Moulton.
The US troops “are doing this incredibly heroic effort, not lone retired determination … successful beforehand of the gross to find these Afghans, but down the ligament successful the airdrome to simply place which ones we request to get, to sift done thousands and thousands of requests, and fig retired which ones we request to bring implicit the wire,” helium said. “So the strategy is not moving precise well.”
On Sunday, the White House announced that astir 2,900 radical had been evacuated from Kabul from 3 a.m. ET Saturday to 3 a.m. ET Sunday. Those evacuations were carried retired by 32 US subject flights that carried astir 2,200 evacuees and 9 conjugation flights that carried 700 people.