Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation GOP lawmaker says he did not threaten US Embassy staff in Tajikistan House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Mass.) rebuked President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE’s claim that some Afghans weren’t evacuated from the country sooner because they didn’t want to leave.
“That’s utter BS,” Moulton said at a press conference on Tuesday, Boston.com reported.
“I mean, don’t tell me that Afghans don’t want to leave when there’s been a backlog of Special Immigrant Visa applications for over a decade,” Moulton said. “Don’t tell me they don’t want to leave when they’re literally clinging to airplanes to try to get out of this country. That was the single part of the president’s speech that I not only disagreed with but I thought was just utter BS.”
Moulton’s remarks come after Biden delivered a speech Monday afternoon addressing chaos surrounding the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies remain in the country after the Taliban took control of Kabul.
“I know there are concerns about why we did not begin evacuating Afghan civilians sooner,” Biden said. “Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier, still hopeful for their country. Part of it was because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organizing a mass exodus to avoid triggering, as they said, a crisis of confidence.”
Moulton released a statement before Biden’s speech after Kabul fell to the Taliban on Sunday calling the fall a “disaster” and “unavoidable.”
“To say that today is anything short of a disaster would be dishonest. Worse, it was avoidable. The time to debate whether we stay in Afghanistan has passed, but there is still time to debate how we manage our retreat,” Moulton said in a statement.
“For months, I have been calling on the Administration to evacuate our allies immediately—not to wait for paperwork, for shaky agreements with third countries, or for time to make it look more 'orderly,’” he added.