Rep. Massie: US Officials Say Taliban Assaulting Americans in Afghanistan

Rep. Massie: US Officials Say Taliban Assaulting Americans in Afghanistan (Newsmax/''Eric Bolling: The Balance'')

By Charles Kim | Friday, 20 August 2021 08:53 PM

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told Newsmax that he has been briefed by top U.S. officials that the Taliban are beating Americans in Afghanistan.

''I just got off a conference call that Secretary [Antony] Blinken and Secretary [Lloyd] Austin and Gen. [Mark] Milley had with Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy and the rest of us in Congress, and we asked a lot of questions,'' Massie said Friday on ''Eric Bolling: The Balance,'' referring to the secretaries of State and Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, the House speaker and the House minority leader.

''We heard on that call that Americans were beaten by the Taliban in their travel to get to the [Kabul] airport, or in an effort to evacuate,'' he said.

Massie said President Joe Biden did not acknowledge that information in his statements or in his remarks to the nation earlier in the day about the situation in Afghanistan.

In roughly 20 minutes of remarks, Biden said the U.S. had deployed 6,000 troops to Kabul and had secured the airport to allow outgoing flights of American citizens, other foreign nationals and ''vulnerable Afghans'' whom the Taliban may be hunting since taking over the country last Sunday.

Instead, Biden said the administration had evacuated 13,000 people since Aug. 14 when the Taliban entered Kabul, causing an exodus of refugees and others trying to leave Afghanistan.

Massie said he also learned from the call that U.S. forces had not gone ''outside the wire,'' or perimeter set up around the airport, to try to help Americans and others get to the airport safely to be evacuated.

The lawmaker said he hopes to learn more when he returns to Washington, where he could get a classified briefing on the matter. But in the meantime, he doesn't understand why the reported beating of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is not ''out in the news.''

The State Department Press Office would not confirm the contents of the call when reached by email after the show, responding that the issue had been addressed in its afternoon press briefing.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said in Friday's briefing that the department was aware of reports in the news and on social media of people claiming to be prevented from getting to the airport but could confirm it had received only a small number of firsthand complaints from U.S. citizens in Afghanistan with whom it is in regular communication.

He said the Taliban are aware of the potential consequences of harassing or harming U.S. citizens trying to leave the country, vowing that the department would respond severely.

''This is an issue we are treating with the utmost importance,'' Price said. ''Many of these harrowing stories are emanating from Afghans who are finding resistance.''

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