Markwayne Mullin Defends Afghanistan Mission, Accuses Biden of Lying About Evacuating Americans

Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin defended his attempt to enter Afghanistan to rescue American citizens amid criticism.

Mullin, a Republican, left for Afghanistan to help rescue a woman and her four children. He reportedly asked the U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan to help transport cash into the country to help the mission.

The trip occurred after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested that representatives not visit Afghanistan while the evacuation was taking place—a request prompted by two other congressmen, Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer, making a trip to Kabul.

During a Fox News interview on Friday, Mullin defended his mission: "We're trying to do a job that President Biden wouldn't do." He said he felt like he could help the mission by making phone calls and helping citizens when they came onto the plane, so he sponsored the mission.

"How do you say no when you have the opportunity to do something?" he said.

When Fox News host Bret Baier asked him to respond to criticism that the mission interrupted a covert operation, Mullin said: "I don't have a clue what they're talking about."

Mullin also attacked the Biden administration over the U.S. troop withdrawal, alleging the president and the State Department "were lying to the American people by saying everybody that wanted out could get out."

"That's a bold-face, 100 percent lie. Because we're working with these individuals," he told Baier.

Biden has previously said that 90 percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to. He said during an August 31 address that the U.S. has evacuated more than 120,000 U.S. citizens, Afghans and foreigners since August 14. The president said "there is no deadline" for the U.S. to help the remaining people from those groups leave the country.

Mullin said that there are five planes at Mazar-i-Sharif—Afghanistan's fourth-largest city—with American citizens, special immigration visa holders, and refugees who cannot get clearance because no country is willing to help them.

When asked if he believes the U.S. will get every person out, Mullin said "we're going to get some, but there's going to be some that's going to die because of the failure from President Biden."

"It's our mess," he said. "The United States created this vacuum to allow the Taliban to come in. President Biden and his horrific withdraw has caused this to happen."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but had heard back by publication. This story will be updated with any response.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin
Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin defended his mission to Afghanistan and slammed the Biden administration over the U.S. troop withdrawal on Friday. Here, he asks. Question during a hearing about the COVID-19 outbreak on May 14, 2020. Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images