Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — The Quad confab Top Foreign Affairs Republican seeks declassification of Afghan intel House passes bill to compensate 'Havana syndrome' victims MORE (R-Texas) has hired a former CNN journalist to serve as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee as it probes President BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE's withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan this summer.
The journalist, Ryan Browne, has worked for CNN since 2015 covering the Pentagon and international security matters. He has reported from countries across the Middle East and was embedded as a contractor adviser to the Afghan National Army from 2011 to 2013 before joining CNN.
"I look forward to putting together a comprehensive, independent and facts-driven investigation,” Browne said in a statement issued through McCaul's office.
“It is crucial we discover what led to the chaos of the emergency evacuation, and examine the administration’s failed efforts to evacuate all American citizens, green card holders, local allies and other vulnerable Afghans fearing reprisals from the Taliban," he added.
McCaul and other Republicans grilled Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenDefense policy bill would require 'forever chemical' testing at military sites Biden criticizes treatment of Haitians as 'embarrassment' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE on Monday about the troop withdrawal. McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said he appreciated Blinken testifying but added the secretary "once again provided us with little to no new information."
“What we saw in Afghanistan was a systemic failure of the federal government that led to the chaos and horrific devastation,” McCaul said in the statement. “That resulted in the death of 13 American service members and the abandonment of American citizens, green card holders, and our Afghan partners in a country controlled by a brutal terrorist organization."
Blinken defended the Biden administration's response, including its failure to predict how quickly the Taliban would overtake the county after the U.S. withdrawal.
“Nothing I or anyone else saw indicated a collapse of the government and the security forces in 11 days,” Blinken told lawmakers. “This unfolded more quickly than we anticipated, including in the intelligence community.”