Some Americans who remain trapped in Afghanistan are “going to die because of the failure from President Biden,” according to Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, who tried to rescue U.S. citizens from that country.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News' Bret Baier on Friday, Mullin said the Taliban was charging between $500 to $4,000 as a "tax" to get past each checkpoint to reach the Kabul airport, which is one reason why the French and British special forces carried out rescue missions to extricate their citizens who were stranded or had been turned away at checkpoints.
The Biden administration told Americans a “boldface” lie about evacuating all Americans who wanted to flee Afghanistan, Mullin asserted in the interview, adding that he knows of roughly 50 U.S. citizens who are stranded in the South Asian country.
Other governments coordinated rescue missions to save their citizens because there were “three Taliban checkpoints before you could get to [Hamid Karzai International Airport] HKIA. And all three of them would charge you a tax and the tax was anywhere between $500 to $4,000,” Rep. Mullin said.
He added that he spoke with the State Department on the phone for 12 hours, trying to get someone from the State Department to come out of the airport gate to get a young lady and her four children. “I have it recorded, couldn’t get anybody to come out. She had come through there; it cost her $2,000," he added.
“Five times she approached this guard with the Taliban. The last time they stuck a pistol to her head with her kids there, I have it recorded with her kids screaming and crying. She goes back and she’s crying so hard that she begins to puke, the mother did, and the State Department sent her up there five times saying we got clearance for her.”
Biden “is going to go to the mic and say that every American that wanted out got out? I have a list of 50 that want out, that they haven’t got out. I have a list of 50 that we’ve ran out of Kabul and put in safe houses around Afghanistan, that I promise you, they wanted out.”
Mullen said the U.S. might be able to extricate some Americans, “but there’s going to be some that are going to die because of the failure from President Biden.”
He continued, “I promise you that. At some point, they’re going to lose patience and they aren’t going to keep letting us drive past these checkpoints and paying them off. Sorry, taxes. That’s what they call a tax. And when I say that blood is on his hands, that means President Biden’s hands. I mean that with everything in my heart, it’s his fault.”
Mullin also shared details about his attempt to rescue Americans from Afghanistan.
“We got a humanitarian flight plan from FAA. And everything was good to go. … We left the United States, we had a time of arrival at … the airport there in Kabul. And we got there and we’re drawing an approach and they canceled our PPR. And so we circled the airport, probably for an hour, and we had five PPRs canceled. Every time they’d cancel, the agency that was trying to get us in would give us a new one. They actually went into the tower to say let them land.”
Following the drawing down of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban quickly seized control of much of the country, eventually taking the capital Kabul last month and forcing the government to flee. In response to the unexpected speed at which the terrorist group retook the nation, tens of thousands of Americans, Afghan allies, and others desperately tried to leave the country.
While the U.S. and its allies evacuated more than 123,000 people out of Afghanistan, it's believed that the majority of Afghan interpreters who are at risk of Taliban reprisal for helping the U.S. were left behind.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that as many as 25,600 Afghans were being housed on U.S. military bases as of Friday. According to U.S. Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, about 1,000 Afghans have been resettled or relocated off military bases.
When Afghans arrive in the U.S. at Dulles International Airport in Virginia or Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania, they are transported to one of eight military bases across the country, including Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Lee in Virginia, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
Among the thousands who've already arrived in the U.S., some 10,000 were flagged for additional security screening, and of those 100 were flagged for "possible ties to the Taliban or terror groups," sources with knowledge of the evacuation process told NBC News.
Two of those 100 were sent out of the country to Kosovo for an additional security review.
It’s also been reported that the State Department has sought “urgent guidance” from other government agencies after intake staff at Fort McCoy “reported multiple cases” of Afghan men being accompanied by multiple “wives,” many of whom are underage child brides, which is illegal in the U.S., The Associated Press reported.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that the U.S. expects to admit at least 50,000 Afghans, and likely thousands more.