WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Two congressmen are facing backlash after they secretly went to Afghanistan amid evacuations.
Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., and Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., are in hot water after revealing they took a trip to Afghanistan. The Pentagon, the White House and Congressional leadership were all unaware of the visit.
“This is deadly serious,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby says the visit stripped resources away from the U.S. military, focused on evacuating thousands desperate to flee the country.
“We were not aware of this visit,” Kirby said. “We’re not encouraging VIP visits to a very tense, dangerous and dynamic situation at the airport”
The two congressman — who are veterans — say their trip to Kabul was done to provide congressional oversight.
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., also a veteran, calls their actions disappointing.
“All I could think of was how many Afghans weren’t able to be evacuated yesterday because we had to pull Marines off the line,” Crow said.
The congressmen argue their trip was done in secret to ensure they were not a distraction. They say their experience made it clear the U.S. will not meet its Aug. 31 deadline.
While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy agrees the trip created a security risk, he blames the Biden administration’s lack of transparency.
“Yes I don’t think it’s right they went,” McCarthy said. “I understand their frustration of why they would want to go, by the lack of answers they were getting.”
Pelosi has not announced if members will face specific consequences.