At a time when Americans are trying to get out of Afghanistan, Republican Congressman Markywane Mullin simply seems unable to get in.
The congressman reportedly struck staff at the US Embassy in Tajikistan when they refused to help him move a large amount of money across the country en route to Afghanistan.
Mr. Mullin – according to a report by The Washington Post, which quotes officials close to the incident – had planned to use the money to charter a helicopter, which he then wanted to use to rescue a family of Americans who were believed to be stranded in Afghanistan.
Officials said Mullin said he planned to fly from Tbilisi, Georgia to Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, and told staff he would arrive just hours before he intended to leave. He enlisted the help of US Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim to move money across the country so he could complete his rescue.
Mr Pommersheim would have said no.
The ambassador was reportedly reluctant to circumvent Tajikistan’s laws regulating the amount of money visitors can bring into the country, especially for a US congressman on his way to one of the most dangerous places on the planet .
Officials said Mullin was enraged by the ambassador’s response. The congressman reportedly threatened the ambassador and demanded to know the names of the embassy staff who had processed his request.
This was apparently the second time in as many weeks that Mr. Mullin’s efforts to enter Afghanistan had been thwarted.
Last week, Mullin flew to Greece, where he asked the US Department of Defense for permission to travel to Kabul. His request was rejected, according to an administration official.
The US State Department is said to be concerned about Mr. Mullin’s relentless attempts to enter the country without permission.
“To say it’s extremely dangerous is an understatement,” a State Department official said. The Washington Post.
Mr Mullin’s office issued a statement on the incidents, assuring the public that the congressman “has been and is currently completely safe”.
The independent has contacted Mr. Mullin for comment.
The statement suggests that Mr Mullin is not being discouraged by the setbacks and could continue his rescue attempts one way or another, saying his office “will continue to do everything in our power to bring it home. all of them Americans in the war zone that President Biden abandoned. ”
Mr Mullin also made sure to publicize his efforts on Instagram, where he posted a photo of himself from an unknown location with the caption: âDid we help get the Americans out of Afghanistan, yes. The 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. “
He added a hashtag to his Instagram post – “#Ordinarypeopledoingextraordinarythings.”
Mr. Mullin was not the only lawmaker trying to fit into the evacuation in Afghanistan.
Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton and Republican Congressman Peter Meijer made an unauthorized trip to the country last week, drawing contempt from the Pentagon and the State Department. Defense agencies said the trip forced U.S. forces to divert attention and resources to welcoming lawmakers.
“It’s as stupid as it is selfish,” an official said on condition of anonymity. The Washington Post.
Mr. Meijer gave The independents Eric Garcia his take on the situation this Monday.
A guy texted me after seeing the reviews and said, ‘The only thing you messed up here was lousy morale’ because there are a lot of people out there who have felt ignored or abandoned and just a little at the end of the world given that mission impossible, âsaid Mr. Meijer.
Joe Biden said his administration contacted Americans still living in Afghanistan 19 times to warn them to leave. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, fewer than 200 U.S. citizens remain in Afghanistan.
US forces evacuated 120,000 people during the operation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.