House Democrat dismisses criticism of secret Afghanistan trip

House Democrat dismisses criticism of secret Afghanistan trip
© Greg Nash

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.) is brushing off the criticism he's received for his secret trip to Afghanistan with another lawmaker, saying in an interview published Wednesday that he doesn't care "one bit about anonymous quotes from Washington" when he is "saving the lives of our allies."

Speaking to The Boston Globe from Doha, Qatar, Moulton said he had requested permission to travel to Afghanistan multiple times in the past few months, but had been turned down. Moulton, a Marine veteran, said he was spurred to take the trip when he attempted to get four Afghan families out of Kabul on flights, managing to get one family out.

“I got several not just families but groups through the gates,” Moulton told the newspaper regarding his visit to the Kabul airport.

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“It’s amazing that people think this is about politics when it’s about innocent lives and saving people who have given everything to us from torture and death. Every single person that we can get through the gates who is one of our allies, that is the difference between freedom and death," he added.

Moulton made his clandestine trip with Rep. Peter MeijerPeter MeijerThe 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Mich.), a fellow veteran, on Tuesday. He shot back at criticisms from officials who argued their presence in Afghanistan had been a distraction for security forces, stating that he and Meijer were only accompanied by one or two military members and mostly stayed in the headquarters.

“The scoldings mean nothing when we’re saving a few lives,” Moulton said.

Moulton and Meijer have received criticism from the White House, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Buttigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Judge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November MORE (D-Calif.) and the Pentagon for their trip.

However, Meijer similarly has remained defiant.

“The opprobrium from the Defense Department, from the White House, from the State Department is frankly laughable,” Meijer said in an interview with Fox News Wednesday.

“We had to know what was going on on the ground in Kabul,” he added. “We have not had information we need from the administration and realized that we were being lied to up and down, and we needed to see for ourselves."