- Reps. Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer chartered a plane to Kabul amid desperate evacuation efforts.
- They said they took the unauthorized trip to provide “oversight.”
- But US officials are furious, with one telling The Washington Post it was “as moronic as it is selfish.”
White House, Pentagon, and State Department officials are furious at the two lawmakers who made an unannounced and unauthorized visit to Afghanistan amid frantic evacuation efforts, reports say.
Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton and Republican Rep. Peter Meijer chartered a plane to Kabul airport and stayed there for several hours on Tuesday, as the US desperately tries to evacuate people following the Taliban takeover, the Associated Press first reported.
The lawmakers confirmed the visit in a joint statement on Tuesday, calling their trip “secret” and saying they were there to conduct “oversight” on the efforts to evacuate Americans and allies.
But their visit has been condemned in light of chaotic efforts to evacuate people before the August 31 military-withdrawal deadline.
Three officials told the AP that State Department, Defense Department, and White House officials were enraged by the visit because the lawmakers didn’t work with any diplomats or military officials who were controlling the evacuations.
Multiple US officials told the AP that the trip was distracting for US troops and commanders in Kabul.
Another senior US official, who was not named, told The Washington Post of the trip: “It’s as moronic as it is selfish.”
“They’re taking seats away from Americans and at-risk Afghans — while putting our diplomats and service members at greater risk — so they can have a moment in front of the cameras.”