Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri called Wednesday’s hearing on Afghanistan a “clown show” because it was behind closed doors.
“The fact that this hearing is happening behind closed doors is absolutely outrageous,” Hawley told reporters. “It is a total travesty, and it’s for one reason only: they do not what to have any accountability. They do not want to answer questions in public.”
“This is a joke,” Hawley said. “What’s happening today is a clown show. It is meant to be a clown show, and it is an absolute travesty.”
The Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was marked by chaos as the Taliban took over the country in a matter of days.
Hundreds of American citizens were left behind in the country as the deadline for the U.S. to evacuate passed.
Hawley expressed frustration over learning more about the withdrawal from leaks to the press than from the Biden administration itself, and he asked why no one who was responsible for the evacuation had been fired.
Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska also said the hearing should have been open to the public. “Instead, it took place behind closed doors and administration officials purposefully stonewalled, limiting senators’ opportunities to ask important questions,” she said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Hawley also called out the administration for holding closed-door briefings as it “blunders into war with Ukraine.”
The Republican senator sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier on Wednesday calling on the administration to rescind its promise to Ukraine that it will be admitted into NATO. The White House accused Hawley of “parroting Russian talking points” in response to the letter, The Washington Post reported.
The Pentagon announced President Joe Biden had approved more U.S. military deployments to Eastern Europe on Wednesday as diplomatic talks fail to de-escalate the Russian troop buildup at the Ukrainian border.
“Bad idea. It’s a mistake,” Hawley told reporters. “It’s a mistake to send more American troops to Europe at this time.”
“It’s just another foreign policy crisis that this administration has blundered into, and I’m sure it will not be the last,” Hawley said.