The Biden administration's State Department is claiming "leverage" over the Taliban in securing flights for Americans and refugees out of Afghanistan, but Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., says the leverage is actually being held by the Taliban in the form of "ransom" for would-be "hostages."
"After days and days, we're starting to break through in getting the landing rights to other countries, but now the Taliban won't let them go," Waltz told Newsmax's "Spicer & Co." on Monday. "Why? Because now they have leverage. They want money, they want international recognition.
"We all saw this coming. The State department said, 'well, we have the leverage to get them access.'"
No, Waltz continued to co-hosts Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith, the Taliban holds the leverage on releasing the flights.
"At the end of the day, if we give it to them, that's called a ransom," Waltz said. "And these people are now, in my view hostages, for Taliban demands, and this administration handed it to them on a silver platter by not leaving our forces there to get every American out.
"It's unforgivable and it's outrageous."
Waltz lamented private veterans groups have to work without the support of the U.S. government in helping American citizens, green-card holders, Special Immigration Visa holders, and their families from out behind enemy lines.
"We feel like we're fighting through our own government to save fellow citizens," Waltz said. "A number of congressional offices are helping these grassroots veterans organizations who stood up on their own, filling a void of leadership from this administration."
The Afghanistan withdrawal that handed control of the country back to the Taliban has put the U.S. and the world in a more dangerous position, Waltz warned.
"We have no local allies, now we have no bases in the region, and now we have a terrorist army armed to the teeth with our own equipment," Waltz said. "And I believe this administration is on the verge of recognizing them [as the official government], believing that we can deal with good terrorists or moderate terrorists to help us against the bad terrorists, and nothing could be further from the truth.
"That's a recipe for disaster."
A bolstered Taliban has put the U.S. and the world in a worse position than before the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on the 20th anniversary, Walz concluded.
"I hate to depress anyone heading into such a momentous occasion, but this administration has led us down a path that we are not just less safe, I think we're really in danger," he said. "This war is not over. It's just heading into a more dangerous space, and we have no eyes and ears on the ground – no troops, no diplomats, and very little intelligence to know when it's coming."
Waltz vowed to "hold [President Joe] Biden accountable if it's the last thing I do as long as I'm in Congress."
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