Blinken’s testimony got here two weeks after the completion of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“In order of the top of final week, we had about 100 hundred Americans in Afghanistan who advised us that they want to depart the nation. And I need to emphasize that this can be a snapshot in time. It is extra precisely a transferring image, as you understand, stepping again for a minute to know exactly at any given second of time precisely what number of Americans are in any nation,” Blinken advised the Home International Affairs Committee.
“It is one thing we won’t and do not know. People will not be required to register once they go to a overseas nation or in the event that they reside there. And so from the beginning of this effort, we have been engaged in an intense effort to establish each American citizen that we might in Afghanistan, to be in contact with them, in touch with them and to work with them in the event that they wished to go away,” Blinken continued.
The secretary of state additionally acknowledged that constitution flights in Afghanistan are nonetheless being prevented from leaving. “There have been constitution flights which have been there for a while, that haven’t been allowed to go away,” Blinken stated.
Blinken’s admission sparked fierce criticism from Republicans.
“Secretary Blinken simply acknowledged the Taliban has blocked constitution flights out of Afghanistan, with People nonetheless there making an attempt to get out. We’re in a hostage disaster. And immediately Joe Biden is campaigning in California,” former White Home chief of workers Mark Meadows wrote on Twitter.
Whereas Blinken confronted aggressive questions from Republicans, Democrats on the committee largely rushed to defend the Biden administration from criticism.