Americans need to know when and how the decision was made whether to challenge President Joe Biden after commanders on the ground said he needed to keep troop levels where they were in Afghanistan to get Americans and visa applicants out of the country, Sen. Marsha Blackburn said on Newsmax Tuesday.
The Tennessee Republican's comments to Newsmax's "Wake Up America" came before Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie were to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"Between Milley, McKenzie, the president, vice president, and Jake Sullivan, somebody changed the story or somebody did not challenge the president," Blackburn, a member of the committee, said Tuesday. "We have 13 service members who are dead, one being a Tennessean."
There are also potentially hundreds of Americans still in Afghanistan, although that number is also not certain, said Blackburn.
Meanwhile, she said she's not sure if the military leaders will address the numbers, but pointed out that "Gen. Milley is very political."
"I have talked to people who have known him most of his career," she said. "He is an incredibly aggressively political general, so we know that going in. We know he will probably try to reframe things to make himself look good."
However, Blackburn said she doesn't know if Austin will try to protect himself or if he'll take responsibility for what had happened in Afghanistan.
"What we do know, is out of these three, is that you have somebody who heard from the commanders on the ground and then decided to change what they were being told or refused to challenge and provide advice and counsel to the president of the United States," said Blackburn.
The testimony will take place in two separate sessions, one public and one private, and the senator said there will be several topics brought up, including the drone strike that ended up killing citizens, and "what type of advice and counsel was provided to the president of the United States," said Blackburn.
"How did this go so far afield?" said Blackburn, noting that a plan had already been in place under former President Donald Trump.
"Why did you decide to change the game on this one and then turn around and say, oh, well, we inherited this plan," said Blackburn. "No, you didn't. You threw the plan in the trash and did it your own way."
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