Democratic Representative Gregory Meeks Claims 'Trump Caused Afghan Government's Departure' -
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Democratic Representative Gregory Meeks Claims ‘Trump Caused Afghan Government’s Departure’

During Friday’s airing of CNN’s “The Lead,” Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addressed criticisms regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal and the Biden administration’s response.

Meeks expressed sympathy for the affected families, affirmed the State Department’s transparency, and criticized the Foreign Affairs Committee’s investigation for its narrow scope.

He emphasized the need to investigate how the Trump administration’s actions contributed to the collapse of the Afghanistan government.

“Obviously, a lot of these Gold Star families are upset with the withdrawal, how it happened. They think there was a cover-up. They think the administration hasn’t been sensitive enough to what happened. What did you make of it all?” host Jake Tapper asked.

“Well, number one, my heart goes out to every Gold Star family and the loss that they had. But I will tell you that we have the oversight committee — responsibility — oversight responsibility on our committee. And the State Department has been working with us at every stage of the game,” Meeks answered.

“And I think that they put out the after-action review process, which talked about and where we had individuals as to what took place and what did not take place, what we needed to do to improve in the future,” he continued.

“But I also think that — because what is happening on our committee is people are not looking at, in order to make the determination, is what took place because of the lead-up to it,” he added.

“For example, I think that we should look at the entire 20 years, because there’s something that connects to it, but especially, when the former administration, along with then-Secretary of State Pompeo, decided that they were going to undercut the Afghan government and elevate those individuals and cause the government of Afghan[istan] to depart,” Meeks continued.

“Now, we’re looking at it. And we — and they have — the committee has received more than 100 hours of testimony from multiple and current and former officials, and the State Department has also provided over 11,000 pages of documents to the committee,” he continued.

“And, for its part, I would just tell you, in looking at this, the State Department has facilitated the appearance of every requested witness in the Afghanistan investigation,” he added.

“So, we’re doing all of those things, but nothing has changed the facts from what the AAR has stated. But, it just seems to me, as the Republican leadership is doing in every committee, it’s just trying to do investigations where there’s nothing found that contradicts, for example, what the AAR, the after-action review has indicated,” Meeks said.

Tapper proceeded to ask about House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and his threat to hold Secretary of State Blinken in contempt due to the lack of document submission regarding Afghanistan.

Meeks replied that the State Department has been cooperative. He acknowledged that while the withdrawal wasn’t “absolutely perfect,” he emphasized that “the entire 20 years in Afghanistan was not perfect.”

“But what we were looking at is how we can make sure — what we can learn from it, just as we did [with] 9/11, so that we can be better prepared in the future, but not trying to just do what [they’ve] been doing in other committees, where you see, for example, Mayorkas, impeach him, try to impeach the President, try to bring down the State Department, that’s just not what we should be doing here,” he concluded.

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