McCarthy, McConnell Demand White House Provide Intelligence Briefing On Afghanistan, Taliban

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday asking for a briefing of the “Gang of Eight,” the casual name for the eight congressional leaders briefed on intelligence issues. 

They wrote to Biden, saying, “It has been several days since you authorized the U.S. military to enter Afghanistan and conduct an evacuation of U.S. citizens from the country.  Our current understanding is the U.S. military secured Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and is conducting the evacuation.

They added, “It is of the utmost importance that the U.S. Government account for all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan and provide the necessary information and means of departure to all those Americans who desire to leave the country.”

They requested a classified briefing or call next week to discuss various information, including:

The number and location of U.S. persons currently located in Afghanistan, and the methodology to determine such a number and location;

The Taliban’s security posture inside Kabul and the ability of U.S. persons to safely travel to Hamid Karzai International Airport from inside the city;

The status of discussions with the Taliban to ensure the safety of U.S. persons;

The ability of the U.S. Government to communicate with U.S. persons in country;

The Administration’s plan to evacuate U.S. persons outside of Kabul who cannot travel safely to the city; and

The number of U.S. persons unaccounted for in the country and the potential reasons why such individuals have not been reached.

They concluded, “We all share in the desire to see Americans safely returned home, and we hope to gain clarity as to the means and methods for accomplishing that goal.”

Biden gave a speech on Wednesday discussing the COVID-19 pandemic and did not take questions from reporters after his remarks. 

According to a Daily Wire/SurveyMonkey poll, Biden’s job approval rating has plummeted after the disastrous fallout from his withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. 

“The poll pegged Biden’s job approval rating at 47%, just two points higher than his disapproval rating. In mid-July, Biden was averaging a job approval rating of 52% with 43% disapproving, according to RealClearPolitics. Biden’s nine-point advantage has shrunk to just two points in a matter of weeks,” The Daily Wire reported. 

“Support among Americans for Biden’s pull out of Afghanistan has plummeted. In April, a Hill-HarrisX poll found that 73% of Americans backed Joe Biden’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and 27% opposed it. The Daily Wire/SurveyMonkey poll taken this week shows a nearly 30-point drop in support for Biden’s pullout with just 45% of Americans backing the decision and 39% opposing it,” The Daily Wire noted. 

“When presented with other hypothetical options, Americans are now equally divided at 46% on whether the U.S. military should have left Afghanistan,” per The Daily Wire. 

According to the poll:

  • 16% of Americans say the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan until their government became a stable democratic ally.
  • 30% say the United States should have maintained a presence in Afghanistan focused on counter-terrorism efforts to protect Americans and our allies from Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. 46% of Americans now say the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan.
  • Conversely, 36% say the U.S. military should exit Afghanistan entirely but should have first evacuated its allies, American citizens, and left in a less disruptive fashion.
  • Just 10% of Americans agree the United States should exit Afghanistan entirely and that the way the Biden administration is doing it now is about as best as it could have gone under the circumstances.

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