House Intelligence Committee member Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., claimed President Biden "has blood on his hands" and told Fox News the White House and Pentagon are lying about the conditions that have been facing American citizens in Afghanistan, as well as the purported ease Americans had to reach the Kabul airport while U.S. forces were still on the ground.
Mullin recently returned from a semi-secretive trip to the Middle East to help bring home Americans stranded in Afghanistan following Biden's withdrawal process. The lawmaker told "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier that the State Department isn't being truthful to the American people, and that he spent nearly a dozen hours on the phone with them while trying in vain to land in Afghanistan.
"I want to make it very clear. I wasn't looking to try to get in Afghanistan…. [P]eople started calling me wanting help. And we had been getting friends of mine that were in the service that said ‘can you help our interpreter get out?’ – which we had a lot of conversations about that. Then we started getting phone calls from people that had family members or friends that were American citizens," he said.
At first, Mullin – in his capacity as a House member – sought to sponsor a flight to the United States to get 20 Americans out of the Taliban-controlled country, after several federal agencies turned the group down.
"Everybody kept denying them and then they asked would you go with us? And these are Tier 1 operators. These are DELTA guys, special forces. These guys are legit. I'm nobody. I'm just a congressman," he said.
He then left the U.S. and ended up circling Hamid Karzai International Airport for hours because his requests to land repeatedly got denied.
OK REP MULLIN, AFTER REPORTED AFGHANISTAN EVACUATION EFFORT, SAYS HE IS HEADING HOME
"Every time they canceled, 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. We were on the phone with them texting. We couldn't talk. We were texting back and forth and they kept issuing us a new one. And they would never let us in Afghanistan," he said, adding that he suspects the delay led to the disappearance or death of one of the American citizens he was seeking to help rescue:
"Unfortunately, one of our American citizens and her 2-year-old son and I believe it was her father to which I had passports on – we lost contact on because they were at Abbey Gate and a few hours later the Abbey Gate blew up. We haven't had any contact with them since. I believe it's because they were caught up in that. So what they did by playing politics on this, for whatever reason – I don't know who shut us down, but I think it was 100% directed from the State Department."
Mullin went on to deny reports he and his group then decided to try going to neighboring Tajikistan – but he confirmed that the top U.S. diplomat in Dushanbe was similarly difficult to work with.
"In Tajikistan was unfortunately the ambassador was not helpful at all. And a lot of misinformation was going out about that," he said of Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim.
Mullin said Pommersheim told him it was a "sensitive" time and that Vladimir Putin and the Xi government in China were coming to Tajikistan in September.
"I said I get it's very sensitive. I don't need your assets. I, first of all, was making you aware that we're coming. I also and I also made the point I said but we are coming in with a large sum of cash," Mullin recalled.
He said he was then questioned on the cash he was carrying – recalling stating incredulously that his team would have to pass through 16 Taliban checkpoints to get from there to Kabul – at each of which the militants would charge what they called a "tax" of up to $4,000.
"And [Pommersheim] says I can't assist you. I can't help you. Why? I was told not to -- You were told not to help an American citizen? You were told by the federal government in Washington, D.C. not to help when we're not trying to smuggle anybody over."
He recalled telling Pommersheim "we're trying to do a job that President Biden wouldn't do."
After the roadblock from the Tajik embassy, Mullin said he began to realize how much Biden and his top military brass including Gens. Mark Milley and Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie Jr were allegedly "lying to the American people."
"[They were] saying everybody who wanted out could get out that is a lie -- That a boldfaced 100 percent lie because we were working with these individuals," he said.
Mullin said he has a recording proving Biden was lying about the supposed systematic ability for citizens and visa holders to access the then-U.S.-controlled Kabul airport last month.
A mother contacted the State Department for help getting through Kabul's Taliban checkpoints, he said, adding that the woman attempted it 5 times until the final time the Taliban militant there put a gun to her head and frightened her children.
"This one young lady and her four kids to which I have recordings of, we were recording as we were walking through because I was on the phone with the State Department for 12 hours trying to get someone from the State Department to come out of the [airport] gate to get her for 12 hours – I have it recorded," he said.
"Tell them they're waiting on us. Give them your name. They know you are coming. Five times she approached this guard with the Taliban, the last time they stuck a pistol to her head with her kids there," he said, adding the woman went back home the final time and became physically ill, never trying again to reach the airport.
"Here we are the United States government and we are negotiating with the Taliban to get American citizens out and then the president of the United States 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 have ran out of Kabul and put in safe houses around Afghanistan that I promise you they wanted out," he said.
Mullin predicted the Taliban will eventually "lose patience" with U.S.-aligned evacuation attempts like his and curtail allowing them through their checkpoints across the country while paying the "tax".
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"And when I say that blood is on his hands, that means President Biden's hands? I mean that with everything in my heart," he said.
"It's his fault. I wouldn't have been over there – I wouldn't have even thought about going if it wasn't for his failure. I wouldn't have put my life in danger. I wouldn't have put my kids and my wife through that I wouldn't have put anybody through it."