Senator Risch on Fox Sept. 14
1:20PM Sep 15, 2021
bagram air base
foreign relations committee
been all over the board on this thing, but they're really delusional on it, they're, they're out of step with the American people the vast majority of American people watch this unfold. What you just saw was a statement from the Democrat, chairman of that committee, calling this a colossal failure, it clearly was it was a debacle, it was an embarrassment. It was all those things and we wanted answers as to who was making the who's making the decisions and who was making the calls on it we didn't get very much in that regard but the, the takeaway is that they're the as was said here they're patting themselves on the back and what a great job done. Look, I was privy to the discussions about this in the last administration, certainly not in this administration, and there's some basics, they didn't follow. Look, you evacuate the country first. Then you give up the country, you don't give up the country, and then try to evaluate it, or what's what you saw,
what do you think if the US kept the 2500 troops that were on the ground in Bagram Air Base, that they would have been able to hold the line and get those Americans out in time, the contention was in the Secretary's day to day that they would have had to inflow a lot of other troops to protect from a aggressive Taliban and that was all removed.
Well, it goes back further than one of these things, that is always overlooked is the fact that how you message, and how you communicate with the enemy is really important. In the last administration, when a plan was put on the table. that was very clear communications to the Taliban, if they didn't meet those commitments to reduce violence, etc. There were going to be dire consequences. They believe that in this particular instance, this administration went out of its way, time and again to telegraph to them, that they weren't going to push back, Starting with the withdrawal of air cover Vandenberg Air Force Base. By the time this happened. The Taliban were convinced they could run right over the country, which they did, the key part,
it seems over the last two days in these hearings is trying to figure out how many people are on the ground that we need to get out, Americans green card holders and si V's so mismatch numbers I want to take a listen to some of this.
On the question of how many US citizens may be in Afghanistan. It is not a tally that we keep in the context of Afghanistan, or any other country there are individuals who will self identify as American citizens, that number is around 11,000. Beyond that around the country. Beyond that though there are individuals who may not have self identified or Operation Allied rescue
ended up getting more than 5500 Americans out, there's a huge difference between 6015 1000 What happened to these other Americans.
Did you get an answer, they said roughly 100 Americans they said 1000s of green card holders, and they really put a number on the SI V's.
The, the, obviously the one I was most interested in is the Foreign Relations Committee staff had cranked on the administration for a long time to get numbers, and they were giving us number, a numbers way up there 15,000 20,000 Americans, and by their own admission, they got 6000 Americans out. What happened to the rest of them. I mean, they've not gotten an answer to that have not gotten the answer to that and, and it goes deeper than that, as you said, though the special visas and those kinds of things that they haven't come close, haven't even come close on those numbers so, and the Foreign Relations Committee, do you have an estimate of how many Americans you think are there, I mean they're saying roughly 100 But the difference is pretty great. It is very significant. We have no way of knowing. All we can do is take their numbers. And we believe that the numbers are substantially higher than the numbers that they've given out that bread. The other thing that's happening here is this thing is just starting. I think is the Taliban takeover and they're not changing their spots, they're going to be the Taliban and we're going to see some atrocities that is going to make everyone's hair on the back of the neck stand,
but yet they're, they're the government that we are going to have to deal with there is the argument from the administration under what conditions should the US recognize the Taliban.
Well I, under the present conditions, I'd say we shouldn't I mean we don't recognize codes and this wasn't cool. There was a Democrat, a democratically elected government in place that a lot of men and women in the United States gave blood for, and that we all paid treasure for they were in place, and they've been toppled by a terrorist group to call them a government I think is is obscene I think it's a slap in the face of every person who served in, in Afghanistan,
and the Secretary of State conceded today all kinda has never severed ties the tablet's never severed ties with al Qaeda and they count a network as terror network. There was one exchange between you and Secretary Blinken that raised some eyebrows and got a lot of response. Here it is.
Who is responsible who made the decisions on this was it the president the United States.
Ultimately, the President makes the decisions. That's correct.
Somebody in the White House has authority to press the button, and stop the president, cut off the President's speaking ability and sound, who is that person.
I think anyone who knows the president, including members of this committee knows that he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself.
The White House team put out a tweet saying Senator Risch is cheapening this hearing by peddling baseless and bizarre conspiracy theories Secretary Blinken and the administration will continue to engage in good faith with Congress in hopes of having a serious conversation about Afghanistan, What are we getting out with that line of questioning.
Well, I think all of us have seen this administration in comparative to prior administrations, whether you like it or not, you wind up do comparative, and for whatever reason from time to time, his, his, his sound is cut off whether he's in the White House or in other places. Sometimes he's hustled off at the stage where we can't, where the media can't get answers. Somebody needs to be in charge now. I agree with the Secretary of State that that Joe Biden is an engaging person if you're having a conversation like this, he will speak his mind you work with them, let's say you were 2000 Yeah, he was vice president or at a time, during the Obama administration foreign relations, not on, actually I guess for a small period of time I was there when, when he was there, but like I know Joe Biden I worked with him and we've all seen what's happened over the last couple of few years and there's a lot of concern. You're saying the degradation in his abilities. Well, I think that people have to make their own judgment in that regard. I can tell you this, the decisions that have been made by this administration, if indeed the President is in charge and making those decisions have been weak at best and look whether you're talking about the border, whether you're talking about COVID Whether you're talking about Afghanistan, you can go right down line, everything they have touched has gone south, and it's, it's a serious concern.
Senator Risch we appreciate your time we're gonna have you get back to talk about taxes and share finances, some of the time. Thanks a lot, first guest on our new set. Yeah, right, it'd be welcome. Thank you.