Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., this week released a screenshot of what he claims is an email criticizing a possible directive about evacuation flights out of Kabul from a U.S. official who was in Afghanistan as the U.S. completed its military withdrawal.
"Anyone with a valid form of ID should be given permission to go on a plane if that person plausibly falls into the categories we will evacuate: U.S. citizens and LPRs plus their immediate families, LES plus their immediate families, those entitled to an SIV, and Afghans at risk," reads the Aug. 18 email, which recounts an alleged conversation between President Joe Biden and acting U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson.
The Washington Examiner first reported on the document.
"Families including women and children should be allowed through and held to fill out planes," the email continued.
"Total inflow to the U.S. must exceed the number of seats available. Err on the side of excess," it concluded.
The email "provides clear discretion and direction to fill seats and to provide special consideration for women and children when we have seats. I expect that C17 flight volume will increase.”
"This email was shared w/ me by an American official present in Afghanistan during the evacuation who was shocked by (the) Administration’s failure to vet Afghans before they were evacuated. Email details orders from Joe Biden to fill up the planes - even without vetting," Hawley said in a tweet on Tuesday.
A source familiar with the planning of the withdrawal told the Examiner that "vetting was primarily done at" military bases near the evacuation sites known as "lily pads," and said security concerns in Afghanistan forced the quick withdrawal. The person also said many members of Congress were "very vocal" about speed being a "priority" in evacuations.
In response to the email, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said during a congressional hearing earlier this week that the president was signaling that "If there were other clearly Afghans at risk that we could safely bring into the airport and get off the airfield, we should do that."
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