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McCaul fires back at White House memo attempting to discount Afghanistan report

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EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is firing back at the White House for circulating a memo that defends the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan nearly a year ago, calling claims “demonstrably false” and an attempt to sweep the chaotic withdrawal under the rug.

A spokesperson for President Biden’s National Security Council drafted a memo this week defending the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, writing that the president “refused to send another generation of Americans to fight a war that should have ended long ago,” according to a copy of the document obtained by Fox News Digital.

The White House’s memo comes after the House Foreign Affairs Committee publicized a report critical of the withdrawal, which killed 13 U.S. service members, accusing the administration of failing to evacuate U.S.-trained Afghan military personnel, leaving at least 800 Americans behind enemy lines, and creating a major national security risk.

“Most of the claims made in this memo are demonstrably false, and all of them are the same talking points the president has been repeating for a year in his efforts to sweep the disastrous Afghanistan evacuation under the rug,” McCaul, who serves as the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News Digital Monday. 

WHITE HOUSE DRAFTS MEMO DEFENDING AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL

A spokesperson for President Biden's National Security Council drafted a memo this week defending the administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan, writing that the president "refused to send another generation of Americans to fight a war that should have ended long ago," according to a copy of the document obtained by Fox News Digital.

A spokesperson for President Biden’s National Security Council drafted a memo this week defending the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, writing that the president “refused to send another generation of Americans to fight a war that should have ended long ago,” according to a copy of the document obtained by Fox News Digital.
(Jim Watson/Pool via AP, File)

The White House memo called the Republicans’ review a “partisan report” that is “riddled with inaccurate characterizations, cherry-picked information, and false claims” and placed much of the blame on former President Donald Trump.

“Former President Trump’s 2020 agreement with the Taliban empowered the Taliban, weakened our partners in the Afghan government, and committed to withdrawing our troops a few months after President Biden’s inauguration – with no clear plan for what should come next,” the National Security Council spokesperson wrote in the report.

"Most of the claims made in this memo are demonstrably false, and all of them are the same talking points the president has been repeating for a year in his efforts to sweep the disastrous Afghanistan evacuation under the rug," Rep. Michael McCaul told Fox News Digital Monday.

“Most of the claims made in this memo are demonstrably false, and all of them are the same talking points the president has been repeating for a year in his efforts to sweep the disastrous Afghanistan evacuation under the rug,” Rep. Michael McCaul told Fox News Digital Monday.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McCaul took issue with the White House’s argument that the Doha agreement is to blame, because Biden said he would have ordered the unconditional withdrawal even without a deal in place. 

During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos last August, Biden responded that he would have “tried to figure out how to withdraw those troops, yes” in response to a question if he would have taken out troops even without the deal.

BIDEN’S AFGHANISTAN DEBACLE BEGAN WITH THE FALL OF KABUL A YEAR AGO AND AMERICANS DESERVE ANSWERS

The Republican lawmaker also blasted the White House for failing to provide his investigation with requested documents, despite quickly preparing a counter-memo to his committee’s report.

“For the few responses we have actually gotten, they have provided us none of the requested documentation and several of the letters are clearly form responses with identical language from one to the next,” McCaul continued in a statement to Fox News Digital.

Thousands of Afghans rushed to Kabul’s airport as U.S. troops prepared to leave in August 2021. A suicide bomber detonated 20 pounds of explosives near the airport during the confusion, killing 13 U.S. troops and 170 others.

Evacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 23, 2021.

Evacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 23, 2021.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell)

McCaul’s report notes that the Biden administration was not ready for the evacuation.

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The report says there were only 15 consular officers at the Kabul airport when the country first fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15, and only 36 in total throughout the entirety of the evacuation. 

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.



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