Rep. Claudia Tenney told Newsmax Thursday that she wasn't one of the lawmakers who stormed out of a classified meeting on Afghanistan, even though no real information was being given, because she had questions and the matter is a "very serious issue."
"I was there to the bitter end," the New York Republican said on Newsmax's National Report. "I was the last person to ask for more time from the chair just so I could ask some questions."
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle left the meeting held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee after officials from the State Department, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of the Director of National Security officials did not answer their basic questions, reports CNN.
Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the committee's top Republican, told CNN that "everybody walked out" from the meeting and that he questions whether Biden administration officials know how many Americans remain in Afghanistan - State Department officials have said they can't give a more precise figure other than about 100.
Tenney said that even though the meeting was classified most of the experts were giving answers "that we already know from news reporting."
"They couldn't even pinpoint how many Americans are actually still in Afghanistan," she said. "They said it was a moving number. They couldn't tell us how many had been evacuated. There were some numbers on some issues, but it was really disappointing and I would not storm out of the meeting. I need to have answers and I need to hear from them."
Tenney said she also found it critically important to learn that there is no intelligence left on the ground in Afghanistan.
"We really don't know if [this] led to this tragic drone strike that you know, without having real intelligence where we killed innocent people," said Tenney. "My biggest concern is we have a lot of confidential and top-secret classified information that was left in the embassy when it was taken over by the Taliban. We don't have any evidence from our government that that evidence was destroyed."
Meanwhile, millions of dollars have been tagged for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan, said Tenney, but she wants to know what will happen if another nation attacks the country and Americans are still there.
"None of these answers were answered adequately by the Department of Defense, which is disappointing," said Tenney.
Tenney also addressed the situation at the border and said she wants to know how so many people from Haiti got to Del Rio, Texas.
"This is an operation that's being run by cartels," she said.
"These people are being human trafficked. We don't know who's coming through. We don't have numbers. We don't have an accounting. They're bringing diseases with them like mumps, measles, polio, potentially tuberculosis, and, of course, COVID-19, and they're not being vaccinated. And every Democrat voted down the requirement that we vaccinate these people coming across the border, but they're okay with vaccinating all of the American citizens and requiring people who work in this country to be vaccinated without exception."
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