09.14.21

ICYMI: Rounds on Fox News: President Biden Made a Very Serious Mistake That Cost American Lives

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, joined Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom this morning to discuss the upcoming Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing with Secretary of State Blinken on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The hearing begins this morning at 10 AM ET/ 9 AM CT/ 8 AM MT.

Excerpts from Senator Rounds’ interview below:

PERINO: What have you not heard the administration answer so far that you would like to get to the bottom to?  

ROUNDS: Right now they said they have about 124,000 individuals that they’ve helped get out. The problem is that out of the 124,000, about half of them, we don’t know who they are. There’s between 5,000-6,000 Americans they said they’ve helped out. There’s about half of the remaining 124,000 that are SIVs—Special Immigration Visas. But the remaining numbers, we don’t know who they are. We want to find out who those individuals are and how they were allowed to come out. We’ve got literally 100,000 more individuals who helped our men and women in uniform over the last twenty years. Their lives are at risk. We don’t know where they’re at. We are not getting good answers from the Department of State as to how we are going to help them get out of Afghanistan alive.

HEMMER: …this whole idea about the deadline—that was moved by the current administration and so the debate goes to what was their plan to get out?

ROUNDS: The previous administration, under President Trump, was set up to do a conditions-based withdrawal. There were changes being made. The Taliban has not lived up to their side of the deals that were being made. This administration had every opportunity to modify a withdrawal. When Joe Biden decided to arbitrarily set a date and set it without regard to whether or not the Taliban was honoring their side of the commitment so far and was not based on conditions on the ground, he made a very serious mistake and it’s cost American lives.

ROUNDS: …today with the Secretary of State, I think we need to focus on moving forward, how are we going to help get the remaining Americans out? What’s your plan? What about the other individuals who helped our young men and women in uniform—what’s your plan to get them out? And how are you going to respond to China and to Russia and to Iran and to Pakistan who now see this void in Afghanistan…what’s your plan moving forward? Why is it that after this arbitrary date, how do you except to be able to respond accordingly in that area now that you’ve withdrawn our forces and you have very little to negotiate with?

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