The congressman who attempted to conduct freelance rescue missions in Afghanistan says Biden has ‘blood is on his hands’

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021.

  • Mullin attempted to enter Afghanistan with a large sum of cash to rescue Americans who had not been evacuated.
  • The Defense Department denied Mullin permission to visit Kabul last week.
  • In an August 31 speech, Biden said that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan.
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After attempting multiple freelance rescue missions in Afghanistan, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., told Fox News’ Brett Baier that “blood is on [President Joe Biden’s] hands.”

Mullin said he attempted to enter Afghanistan via Georgia and Tajikistan with a large sum of cash to get through Taliban checkpoints and rent a helicopter for a rescue mission. The Washington Post reported that this effort failed when John Mark Pommersheim, the US ambassador to Tajikistan, declined to assist him in skirting Tajikistan’s laws on cash limits.

A similar attempt was made a week prior when Mullin traveled to Greece and the Defense Department denied him permission to visit Kabul.

Mullin said he has a list of 50 Americans trapped in Afghanistan who want out.

When Baier asked Mullin if he thinks the US will be able to get the remaining Americans out of Afghanistan, he replied: “We’re going to get some, but there’s going to be some that are going to die because of the failure from President Biden.”

In his August 31 speech about the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, Biden said that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave, despite previously saying that he would get 100% of Americans out before withdrawing forces, the Associated Press reported.

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US officials thwarted a Republican congressman’s attempts to conduct freelance rescue missions in Afghanistan: report

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021

  • US officials thwarted a GOP lawmaker’s repeated attempts to get to Afghanistan, per The Washington Post.
  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin tried on Monday to conduct a dangerous rescue mission in the country.
  • Mullin was “outraged” when officials at the US Embassy in Tajikistan refused to help him, per the Post.
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US officials from the state and defense departments have thwarted multiple attempts by GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin to conduct dangerous freelance rescue missions in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The US officially completed its military withdrawal from the country on Monday, with the final US Air Force C-17s taking off with US military and diplomatic personnel at 11:59 p.m. – one minute before President Joe Biden’s August 31 deadline.

Mullin, for his part, reached out to the US Embassy in Tajikistan on Monday to request their assistance with a plan he hatched to fly from Georgia to Tajikistan with a large amount of cash. The Oklahoma lawmaker wanted to use his funds to then enter Afghanistan and rent a helicopter to rescue an American family who didn’t make it out of the country in time, per The Post.

Mullin was “outraged” and threatened US officials in Tajikistan upon learning that they wouldn’t help him skirt the country’s limits on the amount of cash people are allowed to enter with, according to The Post.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is now under a level 4 travel advisory from the State Department “due to civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and COVID-19. “

Mullin’s failed effort to get into Afghanistan via Georgia and Tajikistan follows a similarly unsuccessful attempt just last week when the Department of Defense blocked him from traveling to Afghanistan via Greece, The Post reported.

While Mullin’s whereabouts were unknown when The Post initially published its story, a spokesperson for the congressman later confirmed that Mullin “has been and is currently safe,” adding that his office would “continue to do anything in our power to bring home all Americans from the war zone that President Biden abandoned.”

Read more: The 11 best staff Twitter accounts on Capitol Hill, featuring the snarkiest, chartiest, and foodiest commentary around

In a Wednesday Instagram post, Mullin announced he was “heading home.”

“Have we been helping get Americans out of Afghanistan, yes. Is the mission continuing, yes. Am I missing, no. Did I go dark for a little, yes because it wasn’t safe to be communicating,” he wrote in the caption. “Am I extremely disappointed in how we (United States) left Americans behind… that would be an understatement.”

The Post reported that Mullin’s persistent attempts have “alarmed top U.S. officials who say he has gone to extraordinary lengths to defy U.S. warnings.”

The new revelations about Mullin’s efforts follow Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton and GOP Rep. Peter Meijer’s unapproved trip to Kabul airport on August 24. The lawmakers, both US veterans, were criticized for their unsanctioned jaunt at the height of the US military’s frantic efforts to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies.

But Moulton and Meijer defended their trip, saying that they were trying to “conduct oversight” of the US’s evacuation efforts.

US officials described their trip as “selfish” and a major distraction to the evacuation efforts at the time, per The Post. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned their members against such trips, but McCarthy also expressed sympathy over the congressmen’s frustration with the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Pelosi issued another firm warning against members attempting to travel to Afghanistan after the August 26 suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport that killed 13 US service members and nearly 170 Afghan civilians. ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate in the region, claimed responsibility for the attack.

“It should be clear that any Member presence presents a danger and an opportunity cost of resources, regardless of whatever value that Members consider they may add by such trips,” she said.

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House Republicans scoff at new security measures in place at the US Capitol less than a week after Trump provoked a violent insurrection

AP lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, smiles after joining other freshman Republican House members for a group photo at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

  • A number of House Republicans sparred with Capitol police Tuesday over new security measures that were implemented in the wake of the Capitol siege on January 6.
  • Reporters at the Capitol building saw GOP lawmakers — including Reps. Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, and Steve Scalise — scoffing at the newly installed metal detectors at the US Capitol.
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A number of House Republicans are flouting the new security measures put in place at the Capitol building in the wake of a violent insurrection attempt on January 6, according to reporters covering Capitol Hill.

After pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol building last week, Capitol police implemented new safety protocols, including newly installed metal detectors and mask requirements.

Reporters present at the US Capitol on Tuesday night watched GOP lawmakers push past or blatantly walk around metal detectors, as the chamber votes on a resolution to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and some members of Trump’s cabinet to depose the president.

GOP freshman congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who has engaged with QAnon conspiracy theories, refused to walk through the metal detector and allow Capitol police to search her bag, according to reporter Marc Rod. Boebert was later allowed to enter the chamber; it’s unclear if her bag was searched.

Boebert was on the radar of the DC police after the freshman congresswoman released an ad saying she will “carry my firearm in DC and in Congress.”

Read more: DC police will reach out to a GOP freshman congresswoman who released an ad in which she appeared to walk around the US Capitol with a handgun

“It’s our job in Congress to defend your rights, including your Second Amendment, and that’s exactly what I’m here to do,” Boebert continued in the ad.

Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III said Boebert would be “subjected to the same penalties for everyone else that’s caught on the District of Columbia street carrying a firearm unlawfully.”

HuffPost’s Matt Fuller tweeted that he saw “about 10 Republicans walk around the magnetometer” – among them, GOP Reps. Ralph Norman, Scott Perry, Jeff Duncan, and Steve Stivers, who told Capitol police that he believes metal detectors are unconstitutional.

GOP Reps. Markwayne Mullin and Steve Womack also refused to walk through the metal detectors, CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted, with both Republican lawmakers sparring with Capitol police over the new safety protocol.

Rep. Steve Scalise was photographed by Raju with his arms crossed in front of the magnetometer, calling the new protocol “untenable” because it “impedes the ability of members to come and vote. This is our job.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert walked around the metal detector, Fuller reported, telling police as he passed by: “You can’t stop me; I’m on my way to a vote.”

Aside from those who argued with Capitol police, GOP freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon supporter, complied with the new security measure. She thanked officers for their work while yelling at reporters present in the building, asking them where they were when people “burned the building and looted… do you guys remember that?”

Before entering the chamber, she turned back and said “all the media and all the liars and them, they’re not great.”

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