Rubio slams Biden over alleged list given to Taliban
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) criticized the Biden administration after U.S. officials allegedly gave the Taliban a list of Americans and vulnerable Afghans that the U.S. intended to evacuate from Kabul.
“I am greatly distressed by your admission that your administration may have provided a list of American citizens, legal permanent residents and vulnerable Afghans to the Taliban,” Rubio wrote in a letter to President Biden on Friday.
“Regardless of the assurances your administration may have received from the Taliban, your decision to believe them was nothing less than irresponsible and naïve,” Rubio added.
Biden told reporters on Thursday that there have been times when military officials have asked the Taliban to allow buses with certain groups of people to proceed but said he could not say for sure whether the group was given an actual list of evacuees.
“I can’t tell you with any certainty that there’s actually been a list of names. There may have been, but I know of no circumstances. Doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist,” Biden said. “It could very well have happened.”
The issue was raised after Politico reported that in the early days of the effort to evacuate people from Afghanistan, the joint U.S. military and diplomatic coordination team at Kabul’s airport gave the Taliban a list of people the U.S. wanted to evacuate.
Rubio in his letter blasted the reported move, pointing to “revenge killings” where the Taliban has executed individuals who “stood with the United States, and its mission in Afghanistan, during the last twenty years.”
The Florida senator pressed Biden on his administration altering “its posture on the likelihood of Taliban revenge killings” and whether everyone on the reported evacuee list was safely evacuated.
Rubio also vowed to oppose any of Biden’s nominees for national security roles until the questions are answered.
“This action has endangered Americans, and our allies, who have been unable to leave Afghanistan and seriously calls into question your administration’s decision making,” he wrote.