A Republican congressman from Oklahoma reportedly threatened embassy staff and a United States ambassador after being denied assistance to enter Afghanistan as the Taliban continued their takeover.
On Monday, Representative Markwayne Mullin was on his second attempt to travel to Afghanistan to participate in unauthorized evacuations of Americans still in the war-torn country, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Mullin’s latest plan was said to have been to transfer large sums of money to Tajikistan, where he would then hire a helicopter to travel to neighboring Afghanistan and rescue five US citizens.
The plan failed when U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan John Mark Pommersheim and other embassy staff told Mullin that transferring large sums of money would violate the limits of the country’s cash law. country. As the post reported, Mullin turned sour:
Embassy officials told Mullin they couldn’t help him bypass Tajikistan’s laws on cash limits as he traveled to one of the most dangerous places on the planet.
Mullin was outraged by the response, officials said – threatening U.S. Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim and embassy staff and demanding to know the names of staff members with whom he was speaking.
Last week, Mullin visited Greece and asked the Defense Ministry for permission to enter Kabul, the Afghan capital, which was overrun by Taliban forces after US troops withdrew at the end of the war. last month. The Pentagon rejected Mullin’s first request, according to The Post.
âTo say this is extremely dangerous is a massive understatement,â an unnamed State Department official said of Mullin’s attempts to enter Afghanistan.
Mullin’s desire to play lifeguard despite lacking international military or diplomatic experience comes after two of his fellow Congressmen searched for a similar spotlight. Last week, Representatives Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) And Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) Made an unauthorized trip to Kabul while evacuations were still ongoing. Officials from the State Department, the Defense Department and the White House strongly criticized the attempt as attention grabbing during a crisis.
On Wednesday, after reports circulated that Mullin’s whereabouts were unknown, the congressman posted a selfie on Instagram.
âDid we help get the Americans out of Afghanistan, yes,â Mullin said in the caption. âThe mission continues, yes. Am I absent, no. Did I get a bit gloomy, yes because it was not safe to communicate. Am I extremely disappointed with the way we (the United States) left the Americans behindâ¦ to put it mildly. “
At the end of the caption, Mullin posted the hashtag #Ordinarypeopledoingextraordinarythings, an apparent reference to himself, though he didn’t do anything extraordinary.