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Top U.S. Lawmaker: Taliban Is Holding Stranded American Citizens ‘Hostage For Demands Right Now’

   DailyWire.com
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the terror attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport, and the US service members and Afghan victims killed and wounded, in the East Room of the White House, Washington, DC on August 26, 2021.
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Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said during an interview on Sunday that the Taliban is effectively holding American citizens hostage in Afghanistan by not allowing several airplanes to leave.

McCaul’s remarks come after the Biden administration has faced widespread criticism for its hasty pullout from Afghanistan, which left hundreds of Americans and thousands of allies and SIV applicants stranded.

“Since we pulled out, how many Afghan allies have gotten out since the Taliban was in complete control of the country?” Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked.

“Zero,” McCaul responded. “And, in fact, we have six airplanes at Mazar Sharif Airport, six airplanes with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now. They — we — the state has cleared these flights and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport. So, I’m sorry, the answer to your question is zero. And that’s my concern is they’re going to demand more and more, whether it be cash or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan.”

“You’re saying that there are Americans on airplanes ready to fly out of Afghanistan right now and they’re not being allowed out because Taliban is making demands?” Wallace pressed. “What demands are the Taliban making?”

“Well, they are not — they are not clearing the airplanes to depart. They’ve sat at the airport for the last couple of days, these planes, and they’re not allowed to leave,” McCaul responded. “We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. This is really, Chris, turning into a hostage situation where they’re not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America. My concern is that Zalmay Khalilzad, [our] special envoy who’s met with the Taliban, they’re in talks right now, and I think — I worry his recommendation to the administration will be to recognize the Taliban as the official government of the United States, a Taliban organization that is a terrorist organization.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Since we left the country on Friday, how many Americans have gotten out of Afghanistan? Since we pulled out, how many Afghan allies have gotten out since the Taliban was in complete control of the country?

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): I understand. Zero. And, in fact, we have six airplanes at Mazar Sharif Airport, six airplanes with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now. They — we — the state has cleared these flights and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport. So, I’m sorry, the answer to your question is zero. And that’s my concern is they’re going to demand more and more, whether it be cash or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan.

WALLACE: Let me pick up on this because I didn’t know this. You’re saying that there are Americans on airplanes ready to fly out of Afghanistan right now and they’re not being allowed out because Taliban is making demands? What demands are the Taliban making?

MCCAUL: Well, they are not — they are not clearing the airplanes to depart. They’ve sat at the airport for the last couple of days, these planes, and they’re not allowed to leave. We know the reason why is because the Taliban want something in exchange. This is really, Chris, turning into a hostage situation where they’re not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America. My concern is that Zalmay Khalilzad or special envoy who’s met with the Taliban, they’re in talks right now and I think — I — I worry his recommendation to the administration will be to recognize the Taliban as the official government of the United States, a Taliban organization that is a terrorist organization.

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