On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday blasted two House members who recently took a trip to Afghanistan as the U.S. military evacuation continues.
Pelosi criticized Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton and Republican Congressman Peter Meijer who decided to “freelance on their own” by traveling to Afghanistan without leadership’s approval.
The two had apparently found their own way in and out of Afghanistan, and didn’t publicize their trip until they had returned home.
The two military veterans described the trip as a fact-finding mission.
During a news conference, Pelosi said of the pair, “This is deadly serious. You do not want members to go.”
Fox News reported, “Moulton previously challenged Pelosi’s leadership when he led unsuccessful efforts in 2017 and 2019 to find an alternative Democratic leader, but he backed Pelosi’s speakership this year.”
“Meijer is a freshman GOP congressman who bucked his party’s leadership when he voted for former President Trump’s impeachment for the Jan. 6 riot,” Fox News noted.
But Moulton and Meijer, who are both military veterans, insisted their secret trip was not grandstanding, saying they went to Kabul to conduct oversight.
In a joint statement, Moulton and Meijer said, “Like many veterans, we have spent the last few weeks working without sleep to try to get as many people as we could through the gates and to safety,”
The Democrat and the Republican lawmakers said they are disheartened that the U.S. military won’t be able to evacuate everyone who needs it before August 31, a deadline President Biden said he will not move.
“Washington should be ashamed of the position we put our servicemembers in – they represent the best in America,” Moulton and Meijer added in their statement.
“These men and women have been run ragged and are still running strong,” the congressman said. “Their empathy and dedication to duty are truly inspiring.”
“The acts of heroism and selflessness we witnessed…should make America proud,” they finished.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday of Moulton and Meijer’s trip, “I don’t think it’s the best decision because you put people in jeopardy as a member of Congress.”
Both Moulton and Meijer have fired back at critics of their trip.
Meijer said, “The opprobrium from the Defense Department, from the White House, from the State Department is frankly laughable.”
Moulton similarly said that he doesn’t care “one bit about anonymous quotes from Washington.”
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