Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wants to know why a military official blocked a group of 25 U.S. citizens from entering the Kabul airport.
''It's hard to believe that any U.S. military official would deny Americans the ability to evacuate Afghanistan,'' Johnson, ranking Republican on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin dated Friday. ''What generalized or specific order was given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action? Where did this order originate?''
Johnson was referring to former Force Recon Marine Chad Robichaux's claims that the commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade turned away buses full of American evacuees early Thursday from Hamid Karzai International Airport early Thursday because the ''rescue was over.''
"Our team members were met by the commander of the 82nd Airborne Brigade and asked what were they doing here. Who did we think we are, bringing these people into the base? The rescue is over,'' Robichaux told Newsmax last week.
Robichaux was working with nongovernmental organizations to help evacuate U.S. citizens and allies.
In the letter, Johnson said it wasn't clear what happened to the Americans and the other individuals after they left the airport.
Specifically, he asked for the secretaries to hand over the "generalized or specific order … given to the commander that caused him to take this alleged action," where the order came from, and from whom the order originated.
He also asked if either department was "aware" of the allegations, whether there was an open investigation and what the administration is "doing to locate and evacuate the American citizens that were allegedly turned away."
When asked by Fox News about the claims, a spokesperson for the State Department pointed to a tweet from Ross Wilson, acting U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, that denounced the allegations that Americans were turned away as false.
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