Aug 31, 2021

House Freedom Caucus Afghanistan Press Conference Transcript

House Freedom Caucus Afghanistan Press Conference Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsHouse Freedom Caucus Afghanistan Press Conference Transcript

Members of the House Freedom Caucus held a press conference on the end of the war in Afghanistan on August 31, 2021. Read the transcript of the news briefing here.

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
… our concern over this administration and our desire to hold them accountable and the efforts that we are making to hold them accountable. I think the one thing that we need to make clear is the House Freedom Caucus believes in action, and we’re really concerned about the direction of this country under this administration, there’s so much that has gone wrong. But moreover, as we’ve watched the disastrous evacuation of our troops from Afghanistan, as we’ve watched Americans left behind in Afghanistan, as we’ve watched literally billions of dollars worth of material be left behind in Afghanistan, I think we all saw the image yesterday of the Taliban flying an American helicopter hanging someone they believe to be a trader to the Taliban cause, when we see that type of thing, we can’t help but get a very agitated and riled.

Speaker 1: (01:08)
Right now in Kabul, there are only four embassies left, none of them from the West. You’ve got the Pakistan, Iran, Chinese and Russian embassy left, that’s what you have. From April 30th to June 30th of this year, Americans funded 174 Humvees for the Afghan forces those have been unaccounted for and left behind. We know planes have been actually flown out of Afghanistan to other jurisdictions. And we have the State Department saying basically, the fact that we left Americans behind, I don’t want to misquote, I’ll paraphrase, they said, “This happens all the time.” It’s unacceptable, it’s unacceptable. And we are going to continue to fight this thing through and raise accountability.

Speaker 1: (02:11)
So the Freedom Caucus, many of our members, it’s a general consensus, we have, besides the impeachment effort of Homeland Secretary Mayorkas, we’ve engaged now in an impeachment effort of Secretary of State Antony Blinken. We believe that he has got culpability for much of the travesty that has gone on here. We’ve also called for resignation of various leaders. We’re joined for instance, in our call for resignations of Secretary Austin and General Milley by 90 retired generals. We also call upon the person who said, “The buck stops here.” Who said more than 20 times, “We will not leave any American behind.” The person who basically orchestrated the July 2nd evacuation of Bagram without telling Afghanis, we call upon most somberly the resignation of this president, Joe Biden.

Speaker 1: (03:26)
With that, I’m going to the main sponsor, original sponsor of the Blinken impeachment resolution, Andy Harris. I’m going to go to him, followed by Clay Higgins, the architect and drafter of the resolutions for resignation. So with that, Andy Harris.

Andy Harris: (03:51)
Thank you very much. Now that the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle is over, we have to be sure nothing like this will ever happen again. So last Friday, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, and I, filed a resolution, including impeachment articles for Secretary Blinken. Secretary Blinken has utterly failed in his duties as Secretary of State as defined by the roles and duties of the position in statute. They’re clearly written in Title 22 of the US Code. For instance, “The Secretary of State shall develop and implement policies and programs to provide for the security of the United States, government operations of a diplomatic nature.” It clearly wasn’t done in Afghanistan, as we have abandoned our embassy.

Andy Harris: (04:37)
He’s tasked with security responsibilities, including “emergency planning”, clearly emergency planning wasn’t done. He’s tasked with counter-terrorism planning and coordination, including emergency action planning and threat analysis programs, clearly not done in Afghanistan. And finally, the Secretary of State is responsible for overseas evacuations, many people don’t realize this, it’s not the Department of Defense it’s the Secretary of State. “The Secretary of State…” The code says, “… shall develop and implement policies and programs to provide for the safe and efficient evacuation of United States government personnel, dependents and private United States citizens when their lives are in danger. Such policy shall include measures to identify high risk areas where evacuation may be necessary.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, Afghanistan was one of those areas where evacuation was necessary. And even last week we were told by the Secretary that no American who wants to leave will be left behind, and yet we know now that over a hundred Americans who wanted to leave were left behind. This is the responsibility of the Secretary of State.

Andy Harris: (05:48)
The Secretary of State utterly failed in his duties to develop and implement an effective, safe, and efficient evacuation plan, and he must held accountable. He has to be held accountable because around the world, Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran at this moment, imminently threaten our allies, and we need to be certain that something like Afghanistan doesn’t happen to one of our other allies. We need new competent leadership at the State Department, and it starts with the resignation or impeachment of the Secretary. I now yield to Mr. Higgins.

Clay Higgins: (06:29)
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, American citizens viewing, to call for the resignation of a sitting president is a somber affair. To officially introduce by a legislative act, a congressional response to the voice and will of, we, the people, the citizenry that we serve, to uphold the oath as a congressional servant to the nation that we love. This morning, I introduced three resolutions calling for resignation, one for the president of our United States, another for his secretary of defense and another for his chairman of the joint chiefs.

Clay Higgins: (07:35)
America faces a great division coming into this era of on speakable grief as we look with broken hearts upon the failure of our executive branch to execute a well planned withdrawal of American forces and allies and assets from Afghanistan. There was a plan in place last year that was turned over to the Biden administration that I supported and would have worked, but our president determined that he would not follow the previous administration’s plan for withdrawal, he went off upon his own.

Clay Higgins: (08:33)
Now those many millions of Americans who are hurt because they supported President Biden, and they look on in horror at the tragedy that has unfolded before them, and they know in their hearts, you Americans, you know who you are, I’m speaking to you now with compassion and love as your fellow American. Let us set aside our political affiliations and our ideological perspectives during this moment of challenge in American history, and let us just convey to each other from the depths of our heart and soul, that we recognize the failure of our executive, and it’s the right thing to do for the president of the United States to preserve some modicum of honor and to step down.

Clay Higgins: (09:37)
If he does so, the constitutional process will move forward, and for my democratic brothers and sisters across the country, whom I strongly opposed in this last election as a Republican and a conservative constitutionalist, but I speak to you now as an American, understand that asking for your president’s resignation, demanding your president’s resignation because of his failure causes the ascension of your vice president to the status of commander and chief and president of the United States. You put her in office, let’s see what she’s got, because the right thing to do in America right now, as our reputation worldwide has been savaged by the actions of our own executive, as our allies meet in private to discuss their failed trust in America, what path forward? President Biden has been in elected office for 50 years, it’s arguable that he’s not of his whole and right mind. We are a compassionate people, but we expect performance, and performance right now for President Biden calls for him to step down. His top military advisers, they’re brothers, they know what to do, they sworn oath. We’re asking for their resignation as well. Officially by congressional resolution, we, the most conservative of us, these resolutions have many, many cosponsors, original co-sponsors, some of the most conservative voices in Congress, at a very difficult time, have stepped forward and put their name and reputation on the line to officially and formally call for the resignation of the president of the United States and his top two military advisors. During this dark hour, let the hope and brightness of the American spirit lead the way. There’s frequently, through the annals of history, of mankind, calls for a leader to make a courageous gesture to resign from his position of power. We call upon our president now to embrace this moment and at the darkest hour lead the way for the recovery of America by your resignation, Mr. President. I thank my colleagues present and I yield.

Speaker 1: (12:53)
I’m going to go to Scott Perry from Pennsylvania.

Scott Perry: (13:03)
Well, Good morning everybody, or good afternoon, whatever it is right now, the Freedom Caucus among other things wants to speak on behalf of all Americans who are sitting at home who are watching this who feel helpless and hopeless to affect what is making them furious, what is making them angry, what is breaking their hearts. The Freedom Caucus exists and is here today to not only be their voice, but to call for action. Not just words, but do something about it, which is accountability. It’s accountability, that’s what we’re looking for and that’s what I’m here to support today. My good friend, Mr. Higgins from Louisiana, it’s action, it’s action that counts, right? My good friend, Mr. Harris from Maryland, it’s action that counts. These people need to resign. They need to be impeached. And I want to add one thing, I’m calling on the leader, McCarthy, I’m calling on him to vacate, make the motion to vacate the chair. Speaker Pelosi is…

Scott Perry: (14:03)
… the motion to vacate the chair. Speaker Pelosi is derelict in her duties. This government exists to preserve the rights of the American people. It exists to protect the rights of the American people from all foreign adversaries. Now, I will tell you, I don’t know, I’ve thought long and hard about it as this has occurred, whether it’s incompetence, whether it’s neglect or whether it’s something worse. Can you imagine that? Whether it’s something worse that this was supposed to happen this way. Ladies and gentlemen, this is more than neglect. This is a betrayal. This is a betrayal of their oath. It is a betrayal of their country. It is a betrayal of everything we hold dear. This is not a surrender of America by American people, by American citizens. This is a surrender by Joe Biden and the people around him that refuse to stand up and say, absolutely not. Leaving American citizens behind in the combat zone is reserved to one party and one party only that would be the Democrats.

Scott Perry: (15:02)
And while we thought it would only happen in world war II, it never happened again. It’s happening right now, right before us. And so we demand action and we demand accountability right now, right now. We’re not waiting any longer. So while they’re talking over here and while Speaker Pelosi’s back in California telling you that she stands for women, little women and girls in Afghanistan, American girls in Afghanistan are being persecuted and worse as we speak. We do not accept it. We demand accountability and we demand action. I’d like to turn it over to the toughest lady in Congress from Colorado, Ms. Boebert.

Lauren Boebert: (15:42)
Man, that makes me want to run for Congress. Thank you very much, Congressman Perry. As the Taliban celebrate victory from an unconditional surrender, we with the House Freedom Caucus demand accountability. It is time for action. The American people are fed up. I’m fed up. The people standing here with me today are fed up. 13 service members killed, $85 billion worth of military equipment abandoned. Thousands of Americans left stranded, hundreds at this point. It should be enough for even the weakest, wokest members of Congress to step up. I would hope that just one Democrat would have the courage to join us. That one Democrat could do more than the so-called commander and chief who could only look at his watch while moms received the remains of their babies in Dover. Yesterday, terrorists killed someone, strung a person up by our very own Black Hawk helicopter and flew him around for all the world to see. Even Tony Montana would be ashamed, embarrassed, and disgusted at what’s happening right now.

Lauren Boebert: (17:21)
The truly oppressed, the Christians, the women, the children, the ones who dared to believe in freedom, they won’t be rewarded for taking a knee. They’ll be raped, they’ll be slaughtered all by savages using America’s military equipment. After 20 years of war Joe Biden, or whoever’s telling him what to do nowadays made the Taliban stronger than ever. Make no mistake, members of the House Freedom Caucus are not standing here today because Nancy Pelosi called for an emergency session of Congress. No, we’re standing here because Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and every person they’ve put in a position of leadership failed our brave men and women. They failed our brave men and women of the United States military and they failed the American people. Think about it. Speaker Pelosi called us back into session to begin the process of spending trillions and trillions of dollars. We damn sure can be called back into Congress for this.

Lauren Boebert: (18:41)
This weekend I promised every citizen I represent that I would do everything in my power as a United States Congresswoman to get rid of Joe Biden. Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi can follow him out the freaking door. I want everyone listening today on both sides of the aisle to hear these words, we were sent to Washington to represent the American people, not to watch our country give away billions of military equipment to known terrorists, not to sit idly by waiting for the next election. And certainly not to put up with an inept, weak and incapable regime that puts everyone but American citizens first. From day one, this regime, so-called administration, has been all about America last policies. And every day they prove that more and more. The father of one of our fallen soldiers said, “Hey, I’m just a carpenter. And even I can figure out how horrible this exit strategy was.”

Lauren Boebert: (19:57)
We all know that we needed to leave Afghanistan and we all see how failed this mission was. He’s right and you know it. His son did not deserve to die. The blame starts at the top with Biden and his hand picked vice president who bragged that she was right there making the same bad decisions. And if not for her own dereliction of duty, she should be impeached for not demanding we invoke the 25th Amendment. It is time for action, impeach Biden, impeach Kamala Harris, and throw in the secretary of state if you could get him back from vacation. Take a vote to vacate the chair, to get Nancy Pelosi the heck out of here. I hope at this time, at this stage, where we are today, there might be a handful of Democrats who actually might join us in taking a stand for our fallen soldiers, for America, for the constitution.

Lauren Boebert: (21:12)
And if there are any Republicans who have any doubt, know that you will be facing your own primaries and no amount of your precious money will be able to save you from the uprising of the American people who demand we do something now. I didn’t come to Washington DC to be a part of your clubs. I came here to make sure my boys never lived in a socialist nation. And now, today I have to second guess who would actually lead them if they took a stand to serve and join our military. Woke doesn’t work, cutting and running doesn’t work. Being asleep or senile or sucking on applesauce obviously doesn’t work. We need leadership. We need action. And I plan to do whatever I can to deliver on both of these. Thank you very much.

Speaker 2: (22:21)
Louie Gohmert, Texas. Thank you.

Louie Gohmert: (22:25)
Well, I was not in the military the various times I’ve been to Afghanistan since I’ve been in Congress. But I was in the military back when we had a commander in chief named Carter. And he welcomed the Ayatollah Khomeini into Iran as a man of peace and it costs American lives. And after the Iranians took American hostages, he spent the rest of his presidency begging them to let them go when we were strong enough, we could have done something about it. And I hoped and prayed I would never see a time when America, the United States of America would plummet to that poor of leadership that would get Americans put in harm’s way by a weak president. But the truth is, as President Obama has said, he’s got most of his administration still there with President Biden and they were trying to buy the help of the Taliban to just kind of let us get out, quit killing us long enough for us to get out.

Louie Gohmert: (23:48)
It doesn’t work with bloodthirsty, radical extremist like we have in the Taliban. And make no mistake, if you bought the lies about they’re at odds, war with ISIS-K, that’s exactly what the Obama administration said after sending billions of dollars of weaponry and equipment to what they called the moderate rebels in Syria. When the equipment and the weapons kept being turned over to ISIS even President Obama had to suspend sending weapons to the moderate rebels for 90 days. But now we have a president, again, who he couldn’t have made matters worse if he was getting money to his family from China or oligarchs in Russia. He has put this nation at risk. One of my very wise colleagues had said, “It’ll take us a generation to get back our credibility after abandoning those who fought for us and with us.” And I said, “I’m sorry. In my years traveling around the world as a member of Congress, we still have not completely recovered from the terrible presidency of Jimmy Carter.”

Louie Gohmert: (25:21)
It’s going to be generations. There will be Americans die because of this president’s policies, the secretary of defense and state. And there are Americans right now I’ve heard from that are saying, “We’re going to be able to get people out, but we have to get clearance from the State Department. Can you help us?” And the message I’m getting is we’re not going to give them clearance. They’re going to let these Americans, these allies die in Afghanistan up in Panjshir where we’ve got a lot of our friends and allies. They’d rather let them die than run the risk of something going wrong and the State Department being blamed. And let me tell you something else, people that I’ve met with that were leaders abroad our allies in what used to be called the Northern Alliance, so many of them have been ready to continue fighting. Some of their children like Ahmad Shah Massoud’s son is ready to lead and fight. But Pakistan, without whom there would be no Taliban, they invited some of our allies who fought and lost family in 2001 and ‘2 before they defeated the Taliban.

Louie Gohmert: (26:43)
They were invited to Pakistan for discussions right before the Taliban made their move on Kabul. And I don’t know if they’re there of their own choice still, or if they’re being held against their will, but somebody in this administration needs to check on our former allies. They are still our allies, but they’re in Pakistan somewhere. Dust them, as I understand, it’s a different country. But this administration has done an abysmal job. I have other former Intel that are telling me people that are being brought in here, there is a significant percentage that are future Boston Marathon bombers because they’re not doing adequate vetting. This administration not only has blood on its hands already, it’s going to cost a lot of American lives before we even have a chance to get it straight again. And so I am hoping that by bringing these things out, as we all are here, that enough American people will speak up, not in violence, but in protest to let the administration-

Rep. Gohmert: (28:03)
… but in protest to let the administration know you’re not going to ever have anybody from your party running this country again, unless you fix these things now. And with that, I turn over to my friend, Andrew Clyde.

Rep. Clyde: (28:23)
Thank you, Louie, and I appreciate the Freedom Caucus arranging this event today. Chairman Biggs, thank you for that. I consider it my duty to be here in Washington alongside many of my fellow veterans to demand accountability from this administration and our top brass amid the stunning crisis in American executive branch leadership that the world has just witnessed. Though USCENTCOM announced yesterday afternoon that the last United States aircraft had departed Kabul International Airport, and the headlines tried to declare America’s longest war officially over, we’d be naive to buy into that narrative. Ladies and gentlemen, we are still at war. We did not eliminate the threat. No, oh no. Joe Biden’s failed withdrawal exacerbated it. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network now have a safe haven where they can regroup, increase in strength, and plan their next evil attack. The truth is we were fighting this war on terror before 9/11.

Rep. Clyde: (29:26)
Do you all remember back to 1993, to the Twin Tower bombings? And we will have to continue to fight this war on terror going forward. We as a nation have enjoyed 20 years of safety and security since 9/11 because of the ability of our military and intelligence agencies to take the fight to the enemy on foreign soil, so that we have not had to weather the storms of more terrorist attack here at home. And they’ve done a great job. Our veterans deserve tremendous praise and tremendous honor for the sacrifices of the last 20 years keeping America safe, but the war has not ended. It just entered a new chapter. No longer will that be the case since we withdrew without eliminating the threat, and left behind approximately 80 billion in advanced weapons and equipment that is now in the possession of the Taliban. President Biden and the entire administration kept parroting the phrase, telling America, “We will get every American out who wants out.”

Rep. Clyde: (30:28)
And we could have done that. We could have done that. We had the military strength to do it, but there was no will to do it. The administration did not have the will. The administration lied to the American people, and we will now have dire consequences for those actions. How many are left, Mr. President? The estimates are anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand American citizens and their families. I fear we are on the brink of another Tehran hostage crisis, but on a much more massive scale. Think about that. President Biden and his advisors should have seen the rapid fall of Afghanistan coming, as the intelligence assessments provided were indeed accurate. This was not an intelligence community failure. This was a failure of leadership. If the administration could not understand the dire situation, then they were incompetent for the job from the very beginning. But it appears that they chose to ignore the intelligence and maintain an inflexible course of action, so they are culpable and directly responsible for this humiliating and deadly retreat.

Rep. Clyde: (31:34)
Our top leadership has failed us. They failed our citizens, who they knowingly and willingly left behind enemy lines, and they failed our allies. They failed the whole of America. And so Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley should all resign, and I am calling for their resignation again. I called for that last week, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with President Biden, and so he should resign too for this abysmal failure of leadership. The Washington Times just ran a story that approximately 90 retired military senior officers, 90 of them, agreed and said the top military brass was negligent in performing their duties. As a retired senior military officer myself, that is exactly my point of view.

Rep. Clyde: (32:29)
My final message to all watching is this: Mr. Biden, give us the plan to bring all Americans home safely. We are America. We don’t leave our people behind. Do not let the White House pull the wool over your eyes and feed you their false narrative that the war on terror is over, and everyone who wanted to get out got out. That is a lie. Mr. Biden, we demand your plan, and we won’t stop until we get it. We are America. We don’t leave our people behind. And with that, I yield to my good friend from Virginia, Bob Good.

Rep. Good: (33:06)
Thank you, Andrew. Speaker Pelosi should call Congress back into session right now. And if she doesn’t do that, we ought to vacate the chair and remove her as speaker. This failed withdrawal from Afghanistan clearly demands congressional oversight. This administration couldn’t have done a worse job if they did it on purpose. But it’s no surprise. This administration and our military leaders have focused on climate change. They focused on this phony allegations of White supremacy and racism within our military. They focused on equity and inclusion, transgender policies. They even flew the gay pride flag over the US Embassy in Kabul for 30 days in the month of June. This administration doesn’t know how many American people were abandoned in enemy territory. No wonder. And they have plan to rescue those who’ve been left behind.

Rep. Good: (33:59)
He kept his promises, this precedent, to the Taliban, but he hasn’t kept his promises to the American people when he promised he would leave no Americans behind. Only 4% of those who’ve been evacuated so far, about 5,000 of some 127,000, are Americans. Here we go, putting others ahead of Americans, foreigners ahead of Americans. And this administration, which has shown no interest, no desire, no willingness in properly vetting those who they are helping stream across our southern border, do you have any confidence that they would adequately or sufficiently vet those who they’re bringing into our country from Afghanistan? If we got it 99% right… And there’s no way this administration would get it 99% right. But it was 99% right, then 1% out of a 120,000 is 1,200 bad guys.

Rep. Good: (34:49)
And we’re already receiving credible reports of bad guys in our country who wish us harm, who were not properly vetted or kept from getting into our country. After 18 months of no American deaths in Afghanistan, we now have 13 dead, 18 wounded, and hundreds, if not thousands, unaccounted for. They estimated we had 10 to 15,000 Americans in Afghanistan. We’ve removed 5,000, and now they say we just have a couple hundred left. You do the math, and tell me if you have confidence in what this administration is telling us.

Rep. Good: (35:27)
This president has abandoned Americans to be captured, tortured, or most likely killed by the Taliban. How can he be okay with this? Simply, to me, an artificial political goal to celebrate that we were out of Afghanistan by 9/11. How are we supposed to trust this administration? This week, it was confirmed that an Afghan on the no-fly list was evacuated to the UK. It’s only a matter of time before more dangerous Afghanis are brought into this country, making once again every town a border town, every city a dangerous border city in this country under this administration. Biden, meanwhile, he takes naps while he’s meeting with foreign dignitaries. He checks his watch while he’s receiving American troops at Andrews.

Rep. Good: (36:16)
He breaks his promises to the American people. His Secretary of State, Blinken, as others have called for, should be impeached for his leadership or failed leadership in this disastrous withdrawal. In addition, President Biden, Secretary Austin, and General Milley should resign or also face impeachment. Speaker Pelosi, call us back into session to make this happen, or let’s vacate the chair. And I yield now to my wonderful Congressman colleague from Illinois, Mary Miller.

Rep. Miller: (36:53)
Thank you to our soldiers, sailors, and Marines who have shown incredible courage and compassion in this time. You are truly our national treasure. Our hearts go out to the families who are mourning. I can’t fathom it. As a mother, I can’t fathom the pain that you are enduring at this time. And I even think of the thousands of families the last 20 years that have lost loved ones over there. They had their whole lives ahead of them. Americans are looking for answers, and they don’t believe what’s coming out of the administration. Pelosi promised a hearing on August 17th. As of yet, no hearing. The last hearing they had was on windmills. Totally disrespectful. I can’t help but notice, why are our flags not flying at half mast? We should be weeping and mourning over the direction of our country. Where is Pelosi? Where are the House Democrats? The chamber is dark and empty. Did Adam shifty Schiff fall off the face of the earth? What a disgrace. Congress must act immediately to begin hearings to hold President Biden responsible.

Rep. Miller: (38:19)
I’ve been thinking about this, holding people responsible. During the 2020 election, our national media covered for Joe Biden. They refused to ask him tough questions, the questions that should have been asked. Today, we now have some serious questions about President Biden’s abilities to do his job. In the critical days when Kabul fell, president Biden went to Delaware, then to Camp David, and disappeared. The media has failed the American people by picking a candidate who was not up for the job. But now it’s Congress’ duty to hold them accountable. No one in this administration has resigned or been fired. Secretary Austin, General Milley, Secretary Blinken are still in charge after this disaster.

Rep. Miller: (39:20)
The consequences are going to reverberate for a long time. We all know that another 9/11 is coming. Our allies don’t respect us, and our enemies don’t fear us. We are in a terrible position worldwide. In addition, the administration has allowed our southern border to remain open and exposed for any terrorists to cross unimpeded, and remain in the United States. The first duty of the government is to protect its people. We have open borders and a national security disaster with less than two weeks from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 national heartbreaking disaster. Our troops were deployed to the most dangerous place in the world to save American lives. The leader should have had their backs.

Rep. Miller: (40:24)
I go to bed at night, I wake up during the night, I wake up in the morning thinking about the families that have lost loved ones over there, and in addition, the Americans we left, the allies we abandoned, the Christians that are going to be murdered, tortured and murdered, and the women and girls. I have a friend whose mother married a pedophile, and brought him into her home, and he raped her two younger sisters. That mother is just as guilty as the pedophile in my opinion. This administration is just as guilty as the terrorists. Our troops have deserved better, and the American people deserve better. We’ll continue to pray for our troops, for America. We pray that Pelosi will call us back, or vacate the seat. We demand it. The American people want answers. Thank you. So Barry Moore from Alabama.

Rep. Moore: (41:47)
Thank you, Mary and Andy. Appreciate you holding this conference. You guys, I want you to notice this pin on my lapel today. It’s my American flag pin. It’s not my congressional pin. And I did that intentionally. I wanted to mention that to you today. We need to come together as a nation. My son tells a story. They were doing sort of a-

Speaker 3: (42:03)
My son tells a story. They were doing a experiment, if you will, in a science class, and they put a red ants and black ants in a giant aquarium. Those ants functioned fine. They built their tunnels. They lived together until somebody shook the aquarium and then they turned on each other. We as a nation better figure out who’s shaken our aquarium. We have to come together as a nation. You know, General Millie said a few months ago, he wanted to understand his white rage. What the American people want to understand right now is the red, white, and blue rage that’s going on. How do we in a nation, elected a president who has created a crisis on our Southern border. We have over a million people coming into our country unvetted, unvaccinated, untested, 10 of which I think are on the terrorist most wanted list. We’ve watched this shut down the pipeline, so now we’re dependent on foreign oil. We’re asking OPEC for help there.

Speaker 3: (42:52)
We have a crisis now in Afghanistan. It’s the making of this administration. They need to be held accountable. We need to hold the administration accountable for what they’re doing, and this starts at the top, guys. You’re going to see the Biden administration try to come up with a scapegoat in the next few weeks. It’s going to happen. Be ready, media. Be paying attention. Do your job. Do your job as the American media. Take off your DNC t-shirts, your DNC hats, get out your press credentials, go talk to your sources and find out who’s driving this debacle in Afghanistan and the Department of State. Don’t let them give you a scapegoat, guys. Don’t let that happen on your watch. You have freedom of press for a reason. I mean, we can do what we can do as Congress. Pelosi’s not doing her job obviously. She needs to call us back in. We need to hold her accountable. I say that we vacate the chair, and I’m going to say one last thing. Joe Biden must go. Thank you for your time.

Speaker 4: (43:46)

Speaker 1: (43:50)
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate it. You can certainly see the passion and drive of the House Freedom Caucus. And in reality, we’re going to keep pushing on these various initiatives. One was to bring and pass the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, our Homeland Security Secretary for the crisis he’s created on the border. We had 19,000 unaccompanied minors come across in July and over 18,000 again in August. That’s a leadership failure. It’s a policy failure. This group is calling for the impeachment and has introduced a resolution in Congress to impeach Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This debacle happened in Afghanistan. It is a leadership and a policy failure. We’re calling for the resignation of Secretary Austin and General Millie. This crisis could have been averted if we would have had leadership and good policies in place. And ultimately this comes down to the man himself, who always says the buck stops here, and then he blames everybody but himself, President Joe Biden. We call upon him to resign immediately.

Speaker 1: (45:21)
With that, we’ve got time for a couple of your questions. Yes, ma’am.

Speaker 5: (45:27)
You’ve been an outspoken supporter of using the contractual military conflicts abroad. You supported President Trump’s first deadline to withdraw troops. Giving the scenes that we’re seeing on the ground right now, have you changed your mind? Do you think it was a mistake for this administration and the past administration to plan to withdraw troops at this time?

Speaker 1: (45:48)
A couple of things with that. This administration basically scrapped the power sharing and the conditional response withdrawal that President Trump had put in place. President Trump had put in place a system of checks and balances. They had entered into an agreement to have power sharing between the Taliban and the Afghani government. When the Taliban would violate the agreement, there would be immediate and disproportionate retribution by our military on the Taliban and immediate communication as to why they were on the receiving end of a hellacious retribution. The result was because they feared him and they feared that his leadership would actually bring retribution if they violated the agreement. That’s why you saw 18 months without attacks on US forces. When he took out Soleimani, That changed the very nature of the understanding of American military will. When Joe Biden came in and scrapped that and basically said, “We’re going to do this for a political purpose for a headline on September 11th, an anniversary,” it changed both the will of the Afghani military and it also increased the will of the Taliban terrorists.

Speaker 6: (47:19)
One of the Afghan commanders wrote a piece for the New York Times, standing against this whole concept of teamwork. He said, “All of our passports, all of our keeping was taken from us. We showed up at Bagram, the electricity was stopped.” As one who flew into Tehran, Iran and hired hostages, there’s a view that this was not accidental, and that the president [inaudible 00:47:47] the check from China, and the greatest beneficiary was China because they gained almost all the railroads and they gained their path now all the way across. Is it worth exploring the-

Speaker 1: (47:41)

Speaker 6: (48:04)
… incompetence that was very well organized and very well planned check list of each of the payments for Hunter.

Speaker 1: (48:08)
Yeah. So to understand this, July 2nd, when Bagram was basically evacuated without telling our Afghan allies, we turned off the power and left, but we left a lot of material there, weapons, ammunition, Humvees, et cetera. That to me signaled that this was going to be a disastrous exit from Afghanistan. The result has been, of course, China looks at Afghanistan for two reasons, their belt and road initiative to encircle the world. And second of all, Afghanistan has a lot of really unique mineral assets, which are going to further Chinese ambitions militarily. So yeah, we need to look at that.

Speaker 1: (48:55)
And that’s one of the things that we’ve been doing. We’ve been calling to be, as you’ve heard repeatedly today, to be brought back into session and to start the investigative hearings on what happened, why this happened and to really open this up. But I mean, where we sit today, the House administration with Nancy Pelosi is not inclined to even address those issues. She’s talked about everything about for rights for women, which is an important thing, of course, but not in the height of the disastrous consequences of what we’ve seen in Afghanistan today. Last question. Mr. [Program 00:49:35]

Mr. Program: (49:35)
Thank you. Thank you very much. I’d like to get your view on this and also Mr. Higgins. With the hurricane coming through, there’s talk about obviously they might need to have some sort of spending bill or tack it on to one or the other three big bills moving into next month or supplemental. What’s your view on once we get an assessment, on how that should be handled and should that be paid for with offsets? Is there a position by the Freedom Caucus as to how that would be addressed? I’ve yet to hear Mr. Higgins to be addressed by this in particular.

Speaker 1: (50:02)
Okay. I’ll turn it over to Clay in just a sec. I’ll just say that right now, our hearts go out to the folks of Louisiana who have endured yet another devastating hurricane, and we certainly are respectful of that. But what we’re here for today is to remind people of the necessity to remove the leadership of this regime. I don’t think it’s worthy of even being called an administration anymore. They’re operating as an oligarchical regime and that they need to be brought to bear. With that, last word on this is going to go to Clay Higgins and then we’ll be done. Thank you so much for being here. Clay.

Clay Higgins: (50:43)
Yeah. So thank you for acknowledging the suffering that the citizens of Louisiana are enduring right now from the brutal hurricane yesterday. The nature of the people of Louisiana is that we’re going to stand back up. We’re a tough and resilient people, and Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes and their impact and recovery. What’s significant about the storm that hit New Orleans and the eastern parishes of Louisiana a couple of days ago is the similarity of the storms to storms Laura and Delta that hit my district, Cameron and Calcasieu Parish a year ago, and the lack of candid and open communications with this executive since then, and the failure of Madam Speaker Pelosi to bring a supplemental disaster funding bill, which is attached to direct grant access for government entities and citizens within the impacted areas. This is completely a failure of the Democrat leadership in the House and executive leadership in the White House.

Clay Higgins: (52:06)
So listen, as a Louisiana citizen, I’m going to work shoulder to shoulder with my brothers and sisters. I have family in Orleans Parish, family in St. Tammany Parish. They were smashed yesterday and day before, and I’m going to work with them to stand back up. I stand with my colleagues in government to do the same. But let me tell you what will be a good start for the people of Louisiana, $85 billion worth of military equipment that was left behind in Afghanistan. We could use some of those assets for the citizens of America. Let us put America first. Mr. President, if you have an ounce of respect for your 50 years of service to this nation and to move forward towards healing, to unite our nation, to get past his nightmare that you’ve created, then by God man, resign. I thank my colleagues for joining us today.

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