Kevin McCarthy: Deadly Afghanistan Evacuation ‘Is Biggest’ Foreign Policy Failure ‘In My Lifetime’

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talks to reporters following a classified intelligence briefing by the Secretary of Defense and other Biden officials about the situation in Afghanistan at the U.S. Capitol on August 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Despite assurances by the Biden Administration …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated Tuesday that President Joe Biden’s deadly Afghanistan evacuation is the largest foreign policy failure of his lifetime.

The Afghanistan evacuation is “the biggest foreign policy failure pretty much in my lifetime,” McCarthy said. “If I was the Democrats, I’d stop playing politics and start focusing on the American people.”

“You’ve got Americans stranded in Afghanistan, focus on that,” he said related to the Democrats’ goal of passing a massive Trojan horse spending bill while Americans are stranded behind enemy lines.

“The most embarrassing part though,” McCarthy continued about President Joe Biden’s deadly extraction, “is that he refused to take questions” Tuesday during his press conference. “And he turned his back and walked away – an image that has come to define him.”

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 16: U.S. President Joe Biden walks away without taking questions after delivering remarks on the worsening crisis in Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House August 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden cut his vacation in Camp David short to address the nation as the Taliban have seized control in Afghanistan two weeks before the U.S. is set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

U.S. President Joe Biden walks away without taking questions after delivering remarks on the worsening crisis in Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

McCarthy’s comments followed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) Tuesday comments on the deadly Afghan evacuation. “Hopefully, as many as those people [Afghans and Americans] will be evacuated as possible — hopefully all,” Pelosi reiterated Wednesday.

The divergence of messaging between the two House leaders comes as the White House has patted themselves on the back for a job well done for evacuating thousands of people from a situation caused by their own policy blunders.

“We are moving thousands of people every day out of Afghanistan and to safety, in what is one of the biggest airlifts in world history,” an enthused Biden and Harris administration official said Tuesday.

But thousands of Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan with the Taliban-enforced withdrawal deadline in five days looming over the administration. On Wednesday, the Pentagon confirmed only 4,400 have been extracted with an unknown amount of American citizens remaining behind enemy lines. Last week the White House estimated about 11,000 Americans were in the country.

Politico reported a leaked State Department cable Tuesday night that revealed the following total extractions since August 23: 4,407 American citizens: 21,533 Afghans: 642 third country/unknown: 26,582 total.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.


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