Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer falsely stated over the weekend that all Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan have done so.
‘The Americans, all of whom wanted to come out, have come out. Praise God,’ the New York Democrat said outside the New York State Fair on Friday.
Schumer had been asked by NewsChannel 9 how Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal could affect Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.
‘I can’t predict that. I will say there’ll be a job for congressional oversight. There always is, but at the moment actually I’m still focused on trying to get some of those brave Afghans out,’ Schumer said, referring to Afghan interpreters who helped the US military and were not yet evacuated on special immigrant visas.
Schumer said his office is working to evacuate an orchestra group made up of young Afghan men and women.
‘The Taliban hates them. They hate music and they hate boys and girls performing.’
Many Americans are still trapped on the ground in Afghanistan. DailyMail.com has reached out to the majority leader to clarify his remarks.
The Biden administration has insisted that Americans in Afghanistan were given repeated warnings to flee before the withdrawal.
On Sunday, an American mother and her three children were evacuated over land after they’d been unable to get on a flight out of Kabul.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer falsely stated over the weekend that all Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan have done so
Hundreds of people gather, some holding documents, near an evacuation control checkpoint on the perimeter of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 26
Paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, and others, prepare to board a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, the day before the US withdrawal
Soldiers check evacuees at Hamid Karzai Internationl Airport. The US has said it was unable to evacuate between 100 and 200 Americans
They had been trying to escape as the State Department repeatedly urged them to go to the Kabul airport gate, but the Taliban refused to let them pass. The final time the mother, ‘Mariam,’ asked the Taliban to allow her entry into the airport, they pointed a gun to her head. Shortly after that, Taliban started asking Kabul locals who knew her where they could find her.
The White House said last week that around 100 Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan.
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, Calif., said he believes that number to be closer to 500 and could be as high as 1,000, if family members of US citizens are included in the count.
Rep. Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican and former Air Force officer, also accused the Biden administration of deflating the number of Americans stranded in Afghanistan.
‘The problem is, it doesn’t include families,’ the Nebraska congressman said. ‘They’re lowballing the numbers.’
Many volunteers helping with evacuation efforts also claim that the number is much higher than the 100-200 figure coming from the administration. These individuals say Biden’s team isn’t accounting for family members who may be green card holders and is also only including those who registered with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul before it was shuttered in the midst of the Taliban takeover.
Registering with the Embassy before visiting a foreign country is an entirely voluntary process and does not necessarily reflect the number of Americans there at a certain time.
According to the Associated Press, Mike Jason, who runs a rescue operation called Allied Airlift 21, said his group has been in contact with 78 green card holders trapped in the country– but when their spouses and children are added to the tally, the number rises to nearly 400.
The volunteers have identified 45 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan but have documents on more than 250 family members stuck there with them.
Over the weekend, as many as six planes seeking to evacuated 1,000 people were grounded in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The passengers included at least 142 Americans, NGO officials working on the evacuation told Newsweek.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that the flights had been blocked because some lacked the necessary documentation to leave the country.
‘There are groups of people who are grouped together, some of whom have the appropriate travel documents — an American passport, a green card, a visa — and others do not,’ Blinken told reporters at a news conference in Doha, Qatar.
‘It’s my understanding that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said that those without valid documents at this point can’t leave,’ Blinken said. ‘But because all of these people are grouped together, that’s meant that flights have not been allowed to go.’
Blinken claimed he is unaware of any ‘hostage-type’ situation.
Of the more than 120,000 the US facilitated evacuation from Afghanistan for, around 6,000 were Americans.