Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., released a statement Friday criticizing President Biden’s administration after it “repeatedly lied” about the number of Americans that remain “trapped behind Taliban lines” in Afghanistan.
“The Biden Administration has shamelessly and repeatedly lied about the number of Americans trapped behind Taliban lines,” Sasse said in a statement. “For weeks, their official number was ‘about a hundred’ and it magically never changed — as Americans slowly got out the total number never went down. Now they say more than 300 Americans are still in Afghanistan.”
He said the new information was “contrary to the administration’s persistent lie.”
“The Biden Administration lied to hide the consequences of the President’s morally indefensible decision to abandon our people in a war zone,” said Sasse, who claimed the “slow-motion hostage crisis and the administration’s coverup are disgraceful.”
“Mr. President, bring our people home,” concluded Sasse, who is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In a statement provided to Fox News, Sasse communications director James Wegmann insisted reports from the administration conflict with public reports regarding departures of Americans from Afghanistan.
“Since the end of August, their ‘around a hundred’ line has stayed the same despite public reports of Americans leaving,” said Wegmann. “It is a deliberately vague number as they’re not sharing a rolling baseline that explains either addition of new contacts or subtraction of departures. There’s a difference between correctly acknowledging that the numbers are not static and repeating a line that both conflicts with public reports of departures and gives no visibility into the accounting.”
According to sources familiar with the exchange, the State Department told congressional staff in a call Thursday that nearly 200 of the more than 300 Americans who remain in Afghanistan want to escape the Taliban’s control, according to CNN.
In late August, just before the United States ended its mission in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed there was just “a small number of Americans, under 200 and likely closer to 100” who remained in the country with hopes to leave.
Riddled with problems, the withdrawal of American military assets from Afghanistan by the Biden administration has led to the president facing immense scrutiny, even from those within his own party.
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., said in August that he believes the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was a “f—— disaster” of “epic proportions.”
“The thing that everybody needs to understand, even if you completely agree with the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw, the way they have handled this has been a total f—— disaster,” Moulton said at the time, as reported by New York Magazine.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.