Some of the Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee made it their mission to invoke former President Donald Trump
"I hope this hearing doesn't descent into, just a, let's pick on the other's party president because that is a revisionist view of history and serves no purpose and brings no honor to the table," Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said in his remarks.
"It wasn't President Biden who decided to meet with the Taliban and exclude the government we were supporting from those negotiations in Doha. It was President Trump. Imagine! Imagine, what that did to the Afghan morale in the military and their government. To know that the United States...had decided to only meet with what you just described as murderous, torturing, amoral force, at best," he continued. "It's wasn't Biden who set an absolute withdrawal date, it was President Trump and everything unraveled from that. President Biden inherited that."
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said there was never going to be a good time to get out of Afghanistan but "this forever war needed to end." He praised the Biden administration for carrying out an "unprecedented" evacuation, saying it was the Trump administration who pressured the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, "it affected events on the ground."
"When the Trump administration dismantled our nation's refugee programs, it affected events on the ground," Cicilline added.
WATCH 📺 CHM @RepMcCaul’s opening remarks at today’s hearing, “During and After the Fall of Kabul: Examining the Administration’s Emergency Evacuation from Afghanistan,” here⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ZajrTyOynd— House Foreign Affairs Committee Majority (@HouseForeignGOP) March 8, 2023
U.S. Marine Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who was seriously wounded in the suicide bombing at Abbey Gate, testified he was denied permission to take out the attacker prior to the explosion, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghans. In the lead-up to the attack, Vargas-Andrews said he was told they did not know who had the authority to allow permission to engage the target.