Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-highest ranking Republican in the House, alleged on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blocked her and other Republican members from asking top U.S. officials about the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan.
“On this morning’s bipartisan conference call regarding Afghanistan with Secretaries Austin, Blinken, and Chairman Milley, Authoritarian Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blocked me and multiple Republican Members from asking questions and lied and said, ‘there were no further questions in the queue,'” Stefanik said in a statement. “I sit on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and represent the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, the most deployed US Army division since 9/11.”
“I have led and participated in multiple bipartisan delegations to Afghanistan,” Stefanik added. “This Lame Duck Authoritarian Speaker of the House is shielding a feckless, weak, and failed Commander in Chief and his Administration. Nancy knows that this is Joe Biden’s Saigon.”
Stefanik said that she wanted to ask the following four questions:
- How many U.S. citizens do we have left to evacuate? When will that mission be completed?
- Afghan Security Forces had best military equipment and capabilities possible, what is U.S. military and intelligence assessment of Taliban now having operational control of those assets and capabilities?
- There is reporting that U.S. is paying vast sums of cash to Taliban in exchange for allowing the evacuation to proceed. Is this true?
- What steps are being taken to ensure the billions of reserves in the Afghanistan Bank are not accessed by the Taliban?
Stefanik’s statement comes after Gen. Mark Milley reportedly told U.S. Senators that the timeline had accelerated for how long it would take terrorist organizations to reestablish themselves in Afghanistan.
“On a Sunday phone call between top Biden officials and senators from both parties, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Milley whether, in light of recent events, they will revise an assessment to Congress in June of a “medium” risk of terrorist groups reconstituting in Afghanistan within two years,” Axios reported. “Milley responded ‘yes’ — that he would have to assume that that timeline would get moved up and that he would be happy to brief senators in a classified setting.”
The Daily Wire reported on Sunday that Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) office is receiving messages from U.S. citizens trapped in Afghanistan behind Taliban checkpoints.
“If you’re an American stranded in Afghanistan, or know one who is, please contact my office immediately: (501) 223-9081 or [email protected],” Cotton’s office said Sunday. “The situation is dire, but we’ll do everything in our power to help keep you informed and to help get you out.”
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This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.