North Carolina congressman says Biden admin releasing ‘a gobbledygook of misinformation’ on Afghanistan
Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., on Tuesday described a disconnect between communication coming from the White House, Department of Defense and State Department regarding the country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Biden administration held a classified briefing for members of Congress on Tuesday morning regarding the U.S. military’s exit from the country by Aug. 31, including remarks from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.
Officials discussed efforts to get Americans and American allies out of the country and gave a high-level view of what is being done to free stranded residents.
“Unfortunately, the difference between what’s coming out of the White House, what’s coming out of the Defense Department, what’s coming out of the State Department is literally a gobbledygook of misinformation,” Murphy, who represents a district with the sixth-most military veterans in the country, told Fox News in an interview after the briefing.
The congressman said the general feeling among his colleagues was “outrage” after the meeting and that he believes it’s “most people’s opinion” that the administration’s recent exit decisions have been “the greatest blunder [of] the president in the history of the United States.”
He added that “the whole problem now is that American lives are at risk,” U.S. allies are at risk, and the Biden administration will need “a colossal effort” and “a lot of luck” to ensure no lives are lost during the exit process, which Murphy called a “massive, horrendous political mistake.”
The administration on Tuesday decided that it would not extend its original Aug. 31 deadline to completely withdraw from Afghanistan after the Taliban announced that it would not allow an extension, a U.S. official told Fox News.
“How did they pick an arbitrary date to get Americans out and get armed forces out in a week’s time? I think they’re doubling down on their mistake and it’s really hurting the reputation of the United States,” Murphy said. “More importantly, it’s going to cost American lives. … This decision was not based upon anything military. It was based upon him trying to be grandstanding.”
The North Carolina congressman emphasized the point that the U.S. Military’s efforts in Afghanistan were “not in vain” despite the recent chaos. Those of his constituents who are veterans who have contacted his office are embarrassed and tired of the administration’s decisions, but “they kept our country safe for the past 20 years,” he said.
“Our office and the veterans administration are putting out information for veterans — especially those who served in Afghanistan — of crisis lines, of folks to talk to, who are questioning what their service was all about,” Murphy said. “From the bottom of my heart, we thank them for their service. They helped keep our country free for the last 20 years.”
Biden is facing criticism for how he has handled the withdrawal so far and his administration’s claims that “it’s irresponsible to say Americans are stranded” in Afghanistan and “no one’s being killed” in the country.
A White House official said Tuesday that 21,600 people have been evacuated from Kabul in the last 24 hours onboard 37 U.S. military and 57 coalition flights. That brings the total number of evacuees since Aug. 14 to around 58,700 people, the official added.
The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will go to “zero” at the Aug. 31 deadline, according to the Pentagon. There remain 6,000 U.S. troops at Kabul’s airport as of Tuesday and dozens of armored vehicles and U.S. Army Apache gunships.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.