GOP rep tears Biden apart for vacation as US blocks 6 Glenn Beck group planes with Americans on board
A Republican House lawmaker called for the impeachment of President Biden on Monday morning while on vacation in Delaware over Labor Day weekend as between 100 and 200 Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan in the amid a reported breakdown in negotiations between the Taliban and the State Department.
“He prioritizes his vacation over the lives of American citizens,” Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger said of Biden on Fox News.
“He kept his promises to the Taliban and he is breaking his promises to the Americans to get them out, and God only knows what will happen if they can’t get out.”
Biden is expected to return to DC tonight after spending two full days in Delaware without public events. He returned to his home country on Friday evening after visiting the damage from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.
Meanwhile, the US military withdrawal from Kabul ended a week ago, and efforts to rescue US citizens still stranded in Afghanistan have reached an impasse with reports that six private charter jets sent there to evacuate at least 1,000 people were stranded in an Afghan town. 260 miles north of Kabul.
“He prioritizes his vacation over the lives of American citizens,” Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger said of Biden on Fox News Monday morning.
Biden flew to Delaware on Friday night and is expected to return Monday night
The flights were chartered by Mercury One, a charity founded by right-wing commentator Glenn Beck, News week reports.
Beck’s fleet of two Kam Air Airbus 340s and four Kam Air Boeing 737s sit empty in the town of Mazar-i-Sharif as passengers – including at least 142 Americans.
An NGO official told Newsweek that the remaining passengers are special immigrant visa applicants and everyone is “waiting in their safe homes for clearance to take off from the Taliban” amid the diplomatic standoff.
The evacuation flights would have cost Beck’s charity $ 750,000 each.
Harshbarger said Monday it was time for Biden to be “100% at work.”
“We still have people in Afghanistan, they will not let our planes go,” she said.
Reuters reported on Sunday that the delay was caused by officials in the Biden administration failing to tell Taliban leaders that they had approved the departures of chartered flights from Mazar-i-Sharif.
An exasperated flight organizer denounced the State Department over the fiasco, saying, “They must be held responsible for endangering the lives of these people.”
Other groups trying to organize their own chartered flights also hit the State Department, with Rick Clay of private rescue firm PlanB saying it was the only thing stopping him from fulfilling his mandate.
Six flights chartered by right-wing commentator Glenn Beck’s charity reportedly cost $ 750,000 each
This satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows satellite images of the Mazar-i-Sharif and grounded planes at the airport in northern Afghanistan on September 3.
Two other organizers also tore up the department headed by Antony Blinken, one – who did not give his name – telling Fox: ‘This is no place to negotiate with American lives. It’s our people standing on the tarmac and all it takes is one crazy phone call.
“If a life is lost because of this, the blood is on the hands of the White House. The blood is on their hands. It is not the Taliban that is delaying this – as much as it makes me sick to say it – it is the United States government. ‘
Further details on the reason for the delay in talks were not disclosed. although Blinken visited Qatar on Sunday to discuss the matter with the leaders there.
As the situation unfolded over the weekend, Texas Representative Michael McCaul told Fox News earlier Sunday that the Taliban were holding the planes hostage.
“We have six planes at Mazar Sharif airport, six planes with US citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban are holding them hostage for requests right now,”
“The state has authorized these flights and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport,” he said.
McCaul went on to say that the flights were used by the Islamic extremist group as a bargaining chip with the United States, in return for full recognition.
Taliban fighters in vehicles patrol a Kabul street on September 2
The airport in question is more than 260 miles from Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital Kabul, where military flights evacuated thousands of Americans and allies from the country amid the Taliban takeover. .
Senator Ted Cruz, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, appeared to further substantiate this claim in a tweet on Sunday.
“Joe Biden abandoned the Americans in Afghanistan,” the Texas senator wrote. “Members of Congress, including me and my office, worked tirelessly to get them out – and for days Biden’s State Department couldn’t even get out.”
“Now there are deeply disturbing reports of a hostage crisis,” he added.
McCaul, the top Republican on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that since the total withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, no Americans have been evacuated from the country.
“Since we left the country on Friday, how many Americans have left Afghanistan? asked presenter Chris Wallace. “Since we pulled out, how many Afghan allies have come out since the Taliban took full control of the country? “
“Zero,” McCaul replied. “I’m sorry, the answer to your question is zero. ”
Other Republicans have also slammed Biden for going on vacation as Americans stranded in Kabul
Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain appeared to downplay the situation in a CNN interview on Sunday.
Klain told the outlet that “about 100” Americans are still in Afghanistan – although the most recent figure of 142 is more in line with Blinken’s admission last week than “a small number of Americans under. 200 ”remain blocked.
Other Republicans have also spoken out against the Biden administration for the ongoing chaos – particularly the president and his Delaware getaway.
“American citizens are still stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, and meanwhile Joe Biden is on vacation in Delaware,” former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wrote on Twitter.
Rep. Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama and close ally of the former president, declared on the site: “Joe Biden will be spending his weekend on vacation in Delaware”.
“About 100 Americans will spend their weekends abandoned in Afghanistan.”
But some people manage to escape – the federal government has confirmed for the first time that it has helped a U.S. citizen and family members escape Afghanistan by overland route to a neighboring country.
A US official told The Associated Press on Monday that the citizen and their children “managed to leave Afghanistan by overland route” and were greeted by US embassy staff at the border.
The official declined to talk about the details of the evacuation or the country they arrived in, citing security reasons and the need to preserve the viability of the route for possible future efforts.
The evacuation is the first ground extraction confirmed by the U.S. government since it ended its air evacuation efforts last week with the final withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.