Menendez: Afghanistan Withdrawal Execution Poor and ‘Totally Unacceptable’ on SIVs, ‘Don’t Know’ if Members of Admin. Should Resign

On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said the execution of the withdrawal from Afghanistan was poor and “totally unacceptable” with regards to evacuating U.S. allies, and that he doesn’t know yet if any members of the Biden administration should resign over the withdrawal.

Host Jake Tapper asked, “Some Republicans are calling on Secretary Blinken to resign. I’m sure you do not support that. But do you think that anyone in the Biden administration should resign as a result of the withdrawal that you have criticized?”

Menendez responded, “I don’t know yet. You know, one of the reasons we’re having a hearing…is to get to the truth. And this is only the beginning of a series of hearings that I intend to have. … [W]e’ve had 20 years, in my view, a good part of those 20 years, we were lied to in Congress, by a variety of people in power, who said things that weren’t quite the truth, who made rosier predictions than what was actually happening on the ground. And so, we have to have a full accounting. And when we have that full accounting, I think those — when that accounting takes place — will have to be held responsible.”

He added, “I believe the exit was poorly executed. Of course, the Biden administration was handed a bad situation. … The previous Trump administration, with Stephen Miller, would not permit the SIV visas for those who helped us be processed. There was no processing of those visas. But even when you inherit such a set of circumstances, it would have been important to come to the Congres and say, we have a problem. We have to surge dramatically. We need your support in doing so, and to have a clarion call that there was more that needed to be done. In that respect, the execution, in my mind, was totally unacceptable.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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