Two members of Congress flew unannounced into Kabul airport in the middle of the ongoing chaotic evacuation Tuesday, stunning State Department and U.S. military personnel who had to divert resources to provide security and information to the lawmakers, U.S. officials said, AP reported.
2 Congress members head for Kabul without informing US authorities
STEPANAKERT, AUGUST 25, ARTSAKHPRESS: Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., flew in and out on charter aircraft and were on the ground at the Kabul airport for several hours.
The two lawmakers are both military veterans, with backgrounds in the region. Moulton, a Marine, served multiple tours in Iraq. Meijer was deployed as part of the Army Reserves and later worked in Afghanistan at a nongovernmental organization providing aid.
“As Members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the executive branch,’” the two said in their statement. “We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand.”
Three officials familiar with the flight said that State Department, Defense Department, and White House officials were furious about the incident because it was done without coordination with diplomats or military commanders directing the evacuation.