NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today joined Fox News Live to discuss the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and his recent CODEL to London and Brussels to meet with allies in the United Kingdom and at NATO headquarters.
*Click the photo above or here to watch*
Hagerty on President Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan: “This is a product of how this evacuation was handled in such a haphazard fashion. I think the State Department is really incapable of assessing the situation on the ground right now because they evacuated. What’s happened here is we left American citizens behind […] I just returned from a trip to London and to Brussels, meeting with allies in the UK and at NATO. We’ve got British citizens that have been left behind, too. This activity that is taking place is not just with Americans, but it’s also with our allies who are suffering in exactly the same means. We left them in this condition. The frustration that they conveyed to me was palpable. What they talked about was the situation where we let a calendar drive our approach to Afghanistan, rather than the conditions on the ground. That’s what yields a situation precisely like the one that you just showed with this lady expecting a child, trying to get out and not knowing what her future may be. We should’ve never let a calendar drive it. We shouldn’t let local domestic politics drive [it, which is] the perception overseas. We should have been driving this based on the conditions on the ground, and that’s not what happened here.”
Hagerty on what he heard from European allies: “My staff has worked through the weekends… reaching out to the State Department, trying to help Americans and our allies get out of that nation. This is a terrible situation. We should have never found ourselves in this position and the concern… that our allies feel—certainly that they shared with me on my most recent trip—is very, very great. Because what we’ve done is we’ve actually precipitated a situation where the Taliban now have declared victory—a great victory—of propaganda… and that’s inspiring jihadists from around the world to step up the threat of terror. Even worse, we’ve armed them. We left billions of equipment back in Afghanistan, some of the finest high-grade military equipment in the world. They are now armed. They now have equipment that we are going to have to deal with. And the threat that our allies are perceiving is even more proximate than our own, because geographically they’re located much more close. They’re also concerned about a humanitarian disaster because of refugees fleeing Afghanistan now that it’s been destabilized by the Taliban. This is an extremely concerning situation, something that all Americans, I think, feel very, very deeply concerned about.”
Hagerty on the need for proper vetting of refugees: “It certainly is a big question. And again, it goes back to a completely poorly planned-and-executed process that has resulted in this. You’ve also got people coming to America right now, Secretary Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security says we’ll take a minimum of 50,000 people from Afghanistan here. I’m very concerned about the ability to vet and properly manage this process. You look at what’s happened at our Southern border, the disaster that the Biden Administration has created there. Now they’re telling us they’re going to be able to manage this effectively and efficiently. I think we have every reason to be concerned.”