Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, said Sunday that his panel wants to talk with current and former members of the Biden administration, including former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, about the bombing that killed 13 service members during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
“Yes, we want to talk to Jen Psaki, yes,” McCaul said in response to a question by CNN’s Jake Tapper about whether he wants transcribed interviews with members of the Biden administration.
“The messages she was sending out from the White House were so different from what was happening on the ground. John Kirby made the comment that no weapons were left behind, which is insane. There are $7 billion of weapons. And I can show you the tapes of the weapons and the cash that were left behind, Ned Price at the State Department making rosy comments,” he added.
“And we need to — we sent letters to have them testify, all giving a rosy picture, while at the same time what was happening on the ground was very different,” McCaul added. “I don’t know where this is going to end, Jake, but, as a former federal prosecutor, I’m going to follow all the facts.”
McCaul told Tapper that he and his committee have issued subpoenas to members of the administration on the matter, saying that it’s the administration’s duty to give families of the fallen service members answers on the matter.
“And when they don’t do that, it makes them wonder, ‘Why are you hiding things,’ right? So I feel like I’m the advocate on behalf of the Gold Star families,” McCaul told Tapper. “They deserve to get access to [Lt. Col. Rye Whitehead], who did not give permission to [Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews] to take out the suicide bomber.”
“But I would ask that they give these families answers. I mean, in a way, they have more power than I do. It’s easy for them to say no to me. It’s very hard for them to say no to these families.”
Thirteen American service members and dozens of Afghan residents were killed in August 2021 when two suicide bombers attacked Abbey Gate at the Kabul Airport. The attack occurred as the U.S. was withdrawing its last troops from the country after a nearly a two decade-long war.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is undergoing an investigation of what was largely seen as a botched exit by the U.S. from Kabul amid a swift takeover by the Taliban more than two years. ago. The panel recently conducted hearings on the incident, where McCaul also butted heads with Secretary of State Antony Blinken over retrieving the necessary documents and information.
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