GOP lawmaker threatened officials while trying to enter Afghanistan: report
Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R) allegedly threatened U.S. Embassy staffers in Tajikistan when requesting assistance in transporting a large amount of cash into the country in his attempt to enter neighboring Afghanistan on Monday, The Washington Post reported.
According to the Post, Mullin told embassy staffers that he was planning to hire a helicopter to go into Afghanistan so he could rescue a family of five Americans, one woman and her four children. He reportedly needed assistance in bypassing Tajikistan’s laws on cash limits.
Staffers told the Post that Mullin, 44, became furious when his request was denied, threatening them as well as U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan John Mark Pommersheim. The report did not describe how the GOP lawmaker allegedly threatened the staffers.
The Hill has reached out to the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to Tajikistan for further comment.
“Congressman Mullin has been and is currently completely safe,” a spokesperson for Mullin’s office told The Hill in a statement.
“He and the Office of Oklahoma’s Second District will continue to do anything in our power to bring home all Americans from the war zone that President Biden abandoned. The safety and security of the American people will always be his top priority. We have no further comment at this time.”
This is the second time Mullin has attempted to travel into Afghanistan, the Post noted, having traveled to Greece last week and being denied by the Pentagon when he requested permission to enter Afghanistan.
“To say this is extremely dangerous is a massive understatement,” one unidentified State Department official told the newspaper of Mullin’s endeavors to enter the area. Officials are currently unaware of the Oklahoma lawmaker’s whereabouts, the newspaper reported.
This attempt to enter Afghanistan by Mullin comes about one week after Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), both military veterans, discretely traveled to Kabul in order to conduct “oversight” of the Biden administration’s evacuation of Americans and Afghan civilians.
The two lawmakers left Afghanistan within 24 hours of landing, departing on a plane designated for Americans and vulnerable Afghans, though they said they sat in crew-only seating to ensure no one was deprived of a seat because of their presence.
White House officials and congressional leaders later lambasted Moulton and Meijer for their secret trip to Kabul. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it “deadly serious” and said that “we do not want members to go” shortly after news of the trip broke.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said their trip “took time away from what [U.S. military forces] had been planning to do that day” so that they could provide protection for the two lawmakers.
–Updated on Sept. 1 at 9:13 a.m.