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Dem Senator 'Furious' at 'Our Government's Delay and Inaction' Over Situation in Afghanistan

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President Joe Biden’s administration is facing criticism from a Democratic senator over its handling of evacuations of Americans and Afghan allies.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote, “My staff [and] I have worked night [and] day to secure the safe passage of two planes waiting in Mazar-e Sharif to take American citizens, at-risk Afghan allies, [and] their families to safety.”

“My office joined forces in this humanitarian mission with an incredible coalition of advocates — NGOs, former servicemembers, [and] journalists — to try [and] evacuate our fellow citizens [and] Afghan allies,” he continued.

Blumenthal went on to say that he had refrained from publicly speaking about the evacuation effort “because we worried that heightened attention would only escalate tensions [and] put these people at even greater risk of being targeted.”

“I have been deeply frustrated, even furious, at our government’s delay [and] inaction. There will be plenty of time to seek accountability for the inexcusable bureaucratic red tape that stranded so many of our Afghan allies,” he added.

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Finally, the lawmaker said his “singular focus remains getting these planes in the air [and] safely to our airbase in Doha, where they have already been cleared to land.”

“I expect the White House [and] State Department to do everything in their power — absolutely everything — to make this happen. These are Americans citizens [and] Afghans who risked everything for our country. We cannot leave them behind,” he added.

Blumenthal’s comments come after reports surfaced that several planes with U.S. citizens and Afghan allies hoping to leave Afghanistan were stuck at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport.

An organizer of the evacuation flights blamed the State Department for the delay in getting approval for the flights’ departures.

Meanwhile, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday that the Taliban were preventing the flights from taking off and demanding recognition from the U.S. and were holding the passengers “hostage.”

However, Reuters reports that several anonymous sources disputed his claim. Another source said the State Department has “not confirmed any Americans are in Mazar-i-Sharif trying to leave from the airport.”

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference on Tuesday, “It’s my understanding is that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said those without valid documents, at this point, can’t leave.”

“We are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage like situation at Mazar-i-Sharif. So we have to work through the different requirements and that’s exactly what we are doing,” he added.

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