Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, after interviewing Secretary of State Antony Blinken when he testified in the House, told Newsmax that she could "absolutely not" believe him when he said the ability of the Taliban and al-Qaida to stage attacks on the United States has been "dramatically downgraded."
Blinken's first statement was that the Taliban had committed to not allow Afghanistan to become a base for terrorism again, the New York Republican said Thursday on "Wake Up America," and that was what led her to ask about the potential of risk to the United States.
"I just can't understand how he could make that statement, considering that the Taliban are terrorists themselves," Malliotakis said.
She pointed out that Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network designated a terrorist organization in 2012, is a Cabinet member in the new Afghan government.
"Money is out for information leading to his arrest," Malliotakis said. "It was astounding to me that the secretary of state could stand before Congress and say basically that they're trusting the Taliban to prevent terrorism from once again emerging."
Malliotakis said she doesn't know whether Blinken lied to her or "he just has no idea what he's talking about," but "the latter could very well be possible, considering how ... discombobulated the agency was during this process."
She noted that several congressional offices, including her own, have contacted the State Department for assistance in bringing U.S. citizens and Afghan partners out of Afghanistan.
"The Democrats don't seem as committed as Republicans to getting answers for those families and for the American people, and that to me is absolutely outrageous," Malliotakis said. "We did this hearing and they tried to blame President Trump, who has clearly said he would have done things differently and laid out those differences."
Malliotakis added that she's also concerned about the United States' open border, and that "we have to be very vigilant at this time."
"We just had the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and that should be a reminder that we must always be vigilant and that includes securing our borders," she said.
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