Politics Republican chides Blinken for not testifying in person about Afghanistan
Fact check: Biden didn't 'gift' weapons to Taliban, hasn't proposed banning pistols
A widespread narrative on social media misleads on the value of military equipment left behind in Afghanistan."The current regime that just gifted the Taliban with $80+ billion worth of military grade weapons wants your 9mm pistols," reads an Aug. 17 text post on Facebook. "THINK ABOUT IT.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was criticized by a Republican congressman for testifying virtually on the Biden administration's withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, chastised Blinken as hevia video call from the State Department building on Monday, blocks from where the physical hearing took place on Capitol Hill in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"Mr., assuming it isn’t classified, can you tell us where you are today?" Perry said.
"Yes, I'm at the State Department," Blinken answered.
Latest on Afghanistan: Biden says US 'on a pace' for Aug. 31 pullout; Taliban block Afghans from airport
Biden added the deadline depends on Taliban cooperation, and added that he has asked the Depts. of State and Defense to prepare contingency plans.His remarks from the White House came the same day the Taliban said it would stop Afghans from trying to go to the Kabul airport and told women to stay home to stay for a time to stay safe, fueling worries about how the Taliban will treat women.
"Oh, couldn't be bothered to come down here and see Congress? All right, that's great," Perry said.
Blinken beganit was his understanding the House was "not in session."
"I’m right here, Mr. Secretary, so is the chairman and ranking member," Perry interrupted. "We’re here!"
CONGRESSMAN SCOTT PERRY: "Can you tell us where you are today?"
BLINKEN: "Yes. I'm at the State Department."
PERRY: "Couldn't be bothered to come down here and see Congress? Alright, that's great."— Townhall.com (@townhallcom)
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, said the event was a "hybrid hearing," so attendees and members were given the option to attend virtually.
Overnight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat
It's Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to appear before both chambers of Congress as questions remain on the Biden administration's messy Afghanistan withdrawal and the future of those left behind in the war-torn country.We'll share how manySecretary of State Antony Blinken is set to appear before both chambers of Congress as questions remain on the Biden administration's messy Afghanistan withdrawal and the future of those left behind in the war-torn country.
He insisted the secretary "has done no wrong" in response to a follow-up inquiry by Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, who asked if Blinken was given the option to appear virtually.
During his testimony, Blinkenthe Biden administration's withdrawal strategy and execution.
“We planned and exercised a wide range of contingencies. Because of that planning, we were able to draw down our embassy and move our remaining personnel to the airport within 48 hours," Blinken said. "And the military — placed on standby by the president was able to secure the airport and start the evacuation within 72 hours."
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Photos show turmoil and panic as Taliban enter Afghanistan's capital Kabul .
The United Nations has cited continued reports of serious human rights abuses and violations in the communities most affected by the fighting. International aid groups have warned of a humanitarian crisis.U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed particular concern Sunday about the future of women and girls in the country, saying hard-won rights "must be protected" and "all abuses must stop.