GO HERE TO TELL CONGRESS: IMPEACH BIDEN!

Senator Ben Sasse joined Chris Wallace Sunday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

“The President needs to step up and be the Commander-in-Chief. Number one, we need enough troops to be sure we can evacuate all our people. Number two, we need to damn these deadlines… The Taliban needs to know they don’t dictate the time table on American lives. We need to push out the perimeter well beyond Karzai airport. We need to have an urgent meeting in the National Security Council and the President’s DoD team to figure out if we should be re-taking Bagram. We need the Taliban to know that we’re going to get our people… our people are obviously American citizens but they’re also all the Special Immigrant Visa holders who risked their lives on behalf of Americans to take the fight to al-Qaeda and the Taliban over there so we didn’t have to fight them here. We need the President to actually talk to our allies, not ignore their calls for days at a time…We need the President to make absolutely clear that we will finish the mission we will save all of our people… he needs the Taliban to know, and al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network and al-Qaeda allies, and ISIS to understand that he may well change his mind on the departure if any fire comes down on Americans as we’re evacuating our people.”

Full transcript is available below. 

Chris Wallace: Joining us now, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Senator Ben Sasse. Senator, you just heard my interview with Secretary of State Blinken. Your reaction?

Sen. Sasse: They’re still in spin mode, Chris. They need to go faster. We have a national security crisis. It’s ongoing. We have a lot of Americans in harm’s way. We have a lot of people we made promises to beyond the wire of the airport and you heard the President say just shameful falsehood after shameful falsehood this week when he said Americans aren’t having trouble at the checkpoints. That’s not true. When they said that they didn’t have intelligence that this was going to happen, that’s not true. When they said al-Qaeda was dead, that’s not true. When they said they had contingency plans, that’s not true. There’s a lot more we have to do. We have a lot of people in danger right now. 

Wallace: Regardless of how we got here, we are where we are now and as you rightly point out there are thousands, tens of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies who are outside that airport. What do we do now? How do we bring them in? How do we get them out of the country?

Sasse: The President needs to step up and be the Commander-in-Chief. Number one, we need enough troops to be sure we can evacuate all our people. Number two, we need to damn these deadlines. August 31 was a stupid, arbitrary, politically-driven deadline. The Taliban needs to know they don’t dictate the time table on American lives. We need to push out the perimeter well beyond Karzai airport, we need to have an urgent meeting in the National Security Council and the President’s DoD team to figure out if we should be re-taking Bagram. We need the Taliban to know that we’re going to get our people and the allies are going to be able to get their people – and our people are obviously American citizens but they’re also all the Special Immigrant Visa holders who risked their lives on behalf of Americans to take the fight to al-Qaeda and the Taliban over there so we didn’t have to fight them here. We need the President to actually talk to our allies, not ignore their calls for days at a time. We need the President to unleash Cyber Command to make sure that all the images that have been taken of our allies and our friends over there at these checkpoints where the Taliban are beating these heroes, we need to make sure those images can’t be used for their hit list to go and gather and kill these people, and we need Cyber Command to be active. 

We need the President to make absolutely clear that we will finish the mission, we will save all of our people and their plan – I’m against the withdrawal plan but that’s, as you said, not the question for today’s debate – but the President’s plan is to leave Afghanistan but he needs the Taliban to know, and al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network and al-Qaeda allies, and ISIS to understand that he may well change his mind on the departure if any fire comes down on Americans as we’re evacuating our people.

Wallace: But, what you’re describing, Senator, and this President has made a decision and not that it necessarily matters but a majority of the American people agree with him to get out of Afghanistan you start going way beyond the border, you start launching raids to pick up American citizens or our Afghan allies we’re reengaging in the war with the Taliban. 

Sasse: Well, first off all the false choice that the President has laid out again and again and again for months has never been true. The choice has never been between zero troops and just withdrawing and giving the Taliban back a sanctuary to allow terrorists to plot attacks of international reach, or on the other hand having 150,000 occupying ground forces. We haven’t had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan for a decade. So, that was never the choice and that’s always been false. 

We need a light footprint with a forward-deployment of special forces that could stop these kind of terror attacks. But now, just for the purposes of this moment and how the President and his team’s incompetence have gotten us to here, they’ve put us in a situation where we have a hostage situation developing. They abandoned Bagram Air Force Base in one of the stupidest military blunders in all of U.S. history and now we’re left in a situation where we’re relying on a civilian airport, Karzai, that has only one runway. I don’t think the American people fully appreciate the danger and the peril into which the President has put us because one RPG taking down a plane onto that runway means we’re stranded. So, the President needs to make sure that this hostage situation into which we’re drifting, that the Taliban knows we will not stand for it. 

Wallace: I’ve got about a little over a minute left, so I need a quick answer here. I want to drill down on this question of Afghan refugees because there’s quite a split inside your party about bringing our Afghan allies, the people who stood up for us for those last 20 years, bringing them into this country. GOP Congressman Tom Tiffany says, “The Biden Administration’s plan to bring planeloads into the U.S. now and ask questions later is reckless and irresponsible.” Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, says he’d “like to hear zero about Afghan refugees until we get every single American out first.” Senator, there’s a real difference of opinion inside your party. 

Sasse: First of all, a great nation is a nation that keeps its word. The American people need to understand who we’re talking about here. We’re talking about men and women who risk their lives to protect Americans. They fought hand-in-hand with our troops and we made promises to them.

There are 32 million Afghans, we’re talking about sixty to eighty thousand people. So, the first thing to say is the American people need to understand who we’re talking about. We’re talking about heroes who fought with us to take the fight to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Number two, the Administration has been way too slow to get people out of harm’s way. They can get them to Kuwait. They can get them to Qatar. They can get them to Bahrain. They can get them to Ramstein in Germany and sort through the larger processing and bureaucratic issues there. 

Number three, when you’ve fought on behalf of Americans to protect our people, you’re welcome in my neighborhood. 

Wallace: Senator Sasse, thank you. Thanks for sharing part of your weekend with us. It’s always good to talk with you, sir. 

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