Ingraham demands answers on ‘Joe’s secret Taliban deal’: Why send CIA director, not State Dept. official?

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham called on Republican lawmakers to step up and investigate a potential “secret” deal President Joe Biden may have made with the Taliban as evacuation figures leaked earlier in the day from the State Department indicate that far more Afghanistan citizens are being evacuated than Americans ahead of a fast-approaching Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Calling it “Joe’s secret Taliban deal,” Ingraham began her monologue focusing on a White House photo showing Biden at Camp David last week sitting alone in the situation room talking to Vice President Kamala Harris as well as diplomatic and national security officials via teleconference, adding that it “seemed odd” he wasn’t joined by anyone else.

“What was going on that none of Biden’s top Cabinet officials were with him at this pivotal time? Just extended alone time with Jill? Very odd,” the host said, adding that the intrigue only increased after reports this week said CIA Director William Burns met with top Taliban officials on Monday.

“This raises lots of questions. First, why send the CIA director and not a State Department official? What were the parameters of the talks?” Ingraham asked.

(Video: Fox News)

“Did the CIA director push to get the August 31 deadline extended? Did he ask if any Americans were being held against their will or demand their release and safe passage? If so, what did we give up for that guarantee?” Ingraham continued, before explaining why answers to those questions matter.

“It’s hard to believe the Taliban just did this out of the goodness of their hearts: This entire scenario has been so fraught with lies and misrepresentations, that we don’t know what to think,” she said, going on to suggest that Biden was treating the Afghanistan evacuation crisis as a political issue rather than an emergency situation to get Americans out before the window closes on Tuesday.

“One thing we do know is that after making a cold political calculation, President Biden announced today that he was, in fact, bowing to the Taliban’s wishes and sticking to the August 31st troop withdrawal date,” she said as both the Biden administration and the Taliban insisted that was the case.

As such, Ingraham said, it’s up to congressional Republicans to get to the bottom of what has transpired, and quickly, using the courts.

“Why are non-Americans being evacuated before Americans? How many Americans are likely to be left behind? What will happen to them? How many non-Americans are being brought to this country? Is there any reason to believe that the vetting is being done in accordance with US law?” she asked.

“Is there any reason to believe that the vetters have any interest other than open borders? Where are the non-Americans going to be settled? Do state and local officials have any say in this matter?” Ingraham continued.

The host went on to question whether the White House had made a deal with the Taliban not to attack the international airport at Kabul as U.S. forces remain engaged in the withdrawal in exchange for a monetary payout.

She then played a clip of Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, insisting that the Aug. 31 pullout date is a “red line” that will bring consequences if the U.S. has not completely withdrawn by then.

“We want them to evacuate all foreign nationals by August 31st, and we are not in favor of allowing Afghans to leave,” he said Tuesday.

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was among many who have blasted Biden over the arbitrary deadline.

“The American people have to ask themselves: who is in charge, Joe Biden or the Taliban? Instead of owning the mantle of commander-in-chief and adequately responding to changing events on the ground in Afghanistan, President Biden continues to focus on a self-congratulatory press release and may have now damned all American citizens and our allies who remain in the country after Biden retreats,” the Republican said in a statement Tuesday. “This is humiliating for the United States and our allies. And it’s weak. We have a duty to ensure every American is evacuated safely.”

Biden, Ingraham continued, is coming off as “weak… feckless and inept” as the crisis continues to unfold but also regarding the refugee crisis that his frenetic withdrawal plan created.

“[T]he true scope of the refugee situation must be revealed. Importing tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of Afghans to the U.S. is bound to pose major challenges — with huge financial, cultural, and security costs,” Ingraham told viewers as she began to wrap up her monologue.

“Raise your hand if you trust the people behind the border crisis and Afghanistan debacle to properly vet each and every one of these people. The fact is we’ve already seen potential bad actors nearly slip through the system,” she said.

“The Democrats cannot be allowed to take a crisis of their own making, and use that crisis to change or flout US refugee policy. They’ve already tried that on the border – because they turned the border into a magnet and women and babies are showing up there, we now have to let them in even if doing so is contrary to US law,” she added.

Ingraham noted that late in the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the Biden administration must reinstitute the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy, so “we have to assume that they’re breaking the law” regarding Afghan refugees as well.

The host went on to call on Republicans to demand the resignations of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley or they will refuse to support more defense spending following the pullout chaos.

Jon Dougherty

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